What Has Chicago Done?

 Authored by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner via Wirepoints.org,

Chicagoans cheered Mayor Lightfoot’s exit. 

Gone was her toxic attitude. Her flippant dismissal of the city’s many crises. Her dismal record on crime. And her destruction of police morale. 

She was an absolute failure by any measure.

From the beginning, she was more interested in imposing a progressive vision and an “equity” agenda on Chicago than enacting the many reforms the city needed.

So Chicagoans kicked out Lightfoot. Change was possible. 

What Has Chicago Done?

But what Chicagoans voted for on April 4 was someone more extreme and exactly opposite of what the city needed. 

To reduce Chicago’s nation-high homicide rate, Chicago needed a new mayor willing to take on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s unwillingness to prosecute dangerous criminals. A mayor willing to challenge Judge Tim Evans’ decarcerationist agenda. A mayor willing to jam shut the system’s revolving door for criminals. 

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson won’t do any of that. Instead, look for him to embrace the policies of Foxx and Evans. In his own words, he’s for defunding the police and defends looting as “an outbreak of incredible frustration and anguish” tied to “a failed racist system.” 

What Has Chicago Done?

Watch for police morale to fall further, for criminals to be emboldened and for crime to continue to spike in Chicago.

To improve Chicago’s dismal educational outcomes – only 1 in 20 black students at CPS can do math at grade level – the city needed a new mayor to champion math and reading proficiency as well as educational excellence, merit and achievement. You won’t get that from Brandon Johnson and his Chicago Teachers Union. Johnson has already said that as a teacher he pushed to eliminate standards, stopped giving homework, and reduced test prep as a way of “rebelling against the structure.” For him, the concept of “equity,” not excellence, will dominate, and kids will lose. 

Watch for student outcomes to worsen as standards are removed. 

And as for the city’s economic climate and business friendliness, Chicago needed a new mayor who would make the city affordable again by growing the tax base, not the tax rate. Who would encourage companies to come to the city, not lambast them as a cause of social ills.

Johnson will do the opposite.

He’s promised to target businesses and the wealthy to pay for his social programming.

We’ve already seen leaders in business and finance – like Ken Griffin and Citadel and Boeing – leave. Don’t be surprised to see a continued, steady outflow. The damage could be deep.

The silver lining in all this?

A few years under Johnson may finally push the center left in Chicago to finally give a reformer the support of 50 percent plus one. 

The question is, how bad of a hit will Chicago have taken during that time? To its safety. To its social cohesion. To its finances. To its population. To its economic base.

Will it be fixable, especially with all its debts?

We hope so.

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