I’ve been away. To Puerto Rico, ironically, which like Illinois is bankrupt, but which is free of the pretensions of grandeur that make living in Chicago, Illinois such a political and spiritual nightmare.
While I’ve been away,
A woman fleeing a gang of 10 youths in Streeterville ran out onto the Drive, where she was killed by a car.
Sixty-nine people were shot over the holiday weekend, 6 fatally.
The City of Chicago paid $2 million to settle a lawsuit that whistle-blowing cops had brought, heading off a trial that would have centered on the police department’s code of silence. Mayor Emanuel, who was to have been called to testify, figured this was a good use of citizens’ money. What use is justice here anymore, anyway?
In the state capital, the legislature once again ended its spring session without passing a budget. The legislature has now failed of its duty for two years. According to the website Truth in Accounting, Illinois’s debt burden is $187 billion. Others place it at $148 billion. Illinois lawmakers are too cowardly to face the pain entailed in getting the state’s finances back in balance again. It’s difficult to divine why they are in office.
Chicago is a microcosm of all that troubles the nation now. The racial divisions, out-of-control violence, and public corruption are corrosive. Public order is fragile and in jeopardy. Over all this is a posturing ‘leadership’ that cares mainly for reputation and the superiority of being part of a political elite.
Image © Susan Barsy
A well written post. I’ve lived in Chicago all my days except when away for school. Sadly, what you wrote is true. The city and state are in a TOTAL mess! Sometimes I think about moving to get away from it all.
Nothing will change until there is a massive citizens’ movement that shames and forces top officials to hammer out a balanced budget. Our capacity to borrow–let alone repay!–is exhausted. We can’t keep adding debt. I think the statehouse should cave to the governor, frankly; Illinoisans would then know something new is happening; then perhaps we could turn the corner and halt the state’s perceptible decline.