Cook County is currently facing three major issues: 1) Public corruption; 2) An epidemic of violent crime; and 3) An opioid drug overdose epidemic.
Over the last 4+ decades 30 Chicago Aldermen have been convicted of crimes tied to their public duties (Chicago Tribune 6-24-19) and four of the last seven Illinois Governors have been convicted of crimes and have gone to prison. Sadly, several more Chicago politicians are currently under federal indictment or investigation. When will this stop?
In 2019 Chicago has seen five very violent weekends: (45 shot, 7 killed) (34 shot, 7 killed) (56 shot, 5 killed) (68 shot, 5 killed) (55 shot, 7 killed) in Chicago’s most violent weekend this year). One woman was fatally shot while protecting her 1-year old child. Four people were shot, one killed, at a holiday house party. As of August 6, 2019, over 1600 people have been shot in Chicago and there have been over 300 homicides (Chicago Tribune 8-6-19). Putting more police on the streets has not worked. It has been called Chicago’s “killing fields”. When will this stop?
Deaths from opioid drug overdoses are increasing in staggering numbers. “Prescription and illegal opioids such as heroin and fentanyl have been factors in more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000”. Over 2000 government entities have sued the drug industry. (Chicago Tribune 7-18-19). Illegal opioids are sold on our streets every day by drug dealers. When will this stop”?
Additionally, the controversial handling of the recent Jussie Smollett criminal case and the sudden, unannounced dropping of all 16 felony charges, created an unprecedented national media firestorm over allegations of an improper “Recusal”, lies, and special treatment based on celebrity status & money, akin to the recent college admissions scandal. When will this stop”?
Chicago police feel demoralized. Residents in high crime rate areas are afraid to walk their streets or send their children out to play. There is too much mistrust between our communities, our police, and the State’s Attorney’s Office. All this has created a “crisis of confidence”.
So, when will this stop? Clearly, the current State’s Attorney is not getting the job done. It will take someone with the proper credentials, extensive trial experience, administrative experience, and a track record of going out into our communities and rebuilding confidence.
I have the credentials and experience to get this job done! — Experience DOES matter!
The current system is not working and Criminal Justice Reform, in some fashion, is needed.
People have lost faith and confidence in both our governing system and our criminal justice system. But where people see Problems & Obstacles … I see SOLUTIONS & OPPORTUNITIES!
The causes of violence are complex. There is no “simple” solution. What we need is a “Multi-pronged solution”, wherein we must be “PROACTIVE” and address the “root causes” of crime. Many communities need better schools, trade courses, more youth programs, jobs, & economic development. As an elected civic leader, the State’s Attorney MUST play a pivotal, central role.
Past State’s Attorneys have believed in being “Tough” on crime. However, “mass incarceration” has been proven NOT to be effective in fighting crime. The current State’s Attorney believes in being “Soft” on crime. She simply will not enforce some of our state criminal laws. However, that simply empowers criminals. I believe it is better to be “SMART” on crime … Prioritize!