The conversation on the topic of abolishing the Chicago Ordinance requiring city employees to live within the city limits has been dug up from its grave and is sitting at your dinner table again. This gives opportunity to the people of Chicago, particularly the younger voter, to re-visit "why" this conversation ever came to be. There's one answer: Chicago has historically been a racially segregated city but when segregation was being swallowed by integration as African-Americans began to purchase homes in Beverly and Ashburn, communities long considered middle-class "white" communities which had long been home to many white Chicago Police officers, white Chicago Firefighters and white Paramedics, these city employees fled to suburban points further South and further West because they didn't want to live in close proximity to African-Americans. That's "why".
The same remains true today for the white Police officers, white Firefighters and white Paramedics who are drooling to reside in any remaining white, middle-class suburban community. They don't want to live in close proximity to African-Americans. They can't help it - these are the hard-core racist, segregationists' of the North. It doesn't matter that these folks would never be welcomed into any African-American social circle anyway. It matters not that the African-American is more educated than they, more accomplished, poised, polished, civil, literate, or possessing all of the earmarks of a sophisticated individual. It matters not! They're unsophisticated, they're crude, they're boring and they don't want to live in close proximity to African-Americans.
for the African-American Police officers, Firefighters, Paramedics and
Public School Teachers who want to flee the city for their drab suburban
ghettos, they simply don't care - they're pretentious, ill-informed,
malevolent individuals who exist in a workaday world, satisfied to get
paid on Friday and head to TJ Maxx...they simply don't care. They have
no loyalty to the city, they have no loyalty the citizens of the city,
they have no loyalty to you, they have no loyalty to your children.
Actually, in my opinion, the overall mentality of a large number of the
people (by no means, all) hired to educate your children play a major
role in the destruction of our school system and the over-whelming,
under-education of so many students.
Each election ushers
in new, young voters just getting involved in the political process, a
kind of "changing of the guard", so to speak. These young voters must
bring with them some sense of history, that helps them to escape the
deception of campaign rhetoric. They must rein in their youthful
enthusiasm and idealism and look closely for hidden agendas, look for
what motivates a candidate and then, don't forget it.
CHICO, the only Mexican-American on the ballot seeking to become the
55th Mayor of Chicago, has gone on record as being, as he put it,
"willing to entertain lifting the residency requirement because Chicago
has outgrown the need for a residency requirement".
stated,"We're a different city than we were 30, 40, 50 years ago when
this rule came on the books. ... we have people who live in the city
and work in the suburbs. We have people who live in the suburbs and
work in the city. We have to be cognizant of those trends. Now, we're
absolutely mature enough to put the issue on the table and at least
discuss it. ... If I thought it was threatening to the middle class, I
wouldn't have put it on the table."
Chico? We are the same city today that we have been over the decades.
We still need revenue today just we did 30, 40, 50 years ago. Mr. Chico
states that we need to hire "1000's of police officers". If the city's
revenue base is cut by millions of dollars, by decreasing our property
tax roll, how will their salaries be paid?
It all sounds like some type of peculiar racist code language, double talk, Mr.Chico.
takes this position because he's selling himself and the city to the
Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 and The Fraternal Order of Police
(FOP). Together, the two unions represent nearly 25,000 active members
and retirees and both groups have long advocated abolishing the city's
Our current Mayor, Richard M.
Daley has steadfastly defended the residency ordinance. Even his
father, our first Mayor Daley, though he may have been a staunch
segregationist, rigidly enforced the residency requirement to prevent
the city's middle class property tax base from fleeing to suburban
areas. We can say what we will about our first Mayor Daley, but one
thing is true, he wasn't a punk - he was not pushed around or anyone's puppet, not even his racist cronies.
is in battle with the most troublesome problems in our city's history.
Violence on our streets is rampant, housing issues with the razing of
the CHA projects has pushed thousands of families into already
over-crowded neighborhoods, our public school system is crumbling, the
city's problems are compounded and complex. Bad solutions, bad
decisions, like the one Mr. Chico is "willing to entertain" can only
serve to cause more problems. Like any other city, Chicago depends upon
our city's property tax base to support our public schools, our
neighborhoods, our infrastructure.
If Chico is "willing to entertain" a policy that would financially devastate the city and set race relations back decades what else does CHICO have up his sleeve?