In government, nothing succeeds like failure, and if it at first you don’t succeed, ask for a bigger budget. Having already wasted a lot of money on anti-crime, Chicago’s Mayor Lightweight is doubling down. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.org:
“I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.”
-Otter in Animal House
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is planning to pump $412 million into its community safety plan, much of it targeting 15 of the city’s most violent community areas.
But the plan is already a proven failure. Furthermore, it has been subject to little transparency or accountability and its funding is unsustainable.
That’s according to a great column in Thursday’s Chicago Sun-Times, based on crime data being kept by the Sun-Times and experts it interviewed.
The plan, called “Our City, Our Safety,” was unveiled more than a year ago and has produced few results, and many of the communities it targeted have only gotten more dangerous, the Sun-Times reported:
Fatal shootings are higher in 10 of the 15 community areas: East Garfield Park, West Pullman, North Lawndale, Greater Grand Crossing, Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Roseland, Chatham, South Shore and Chicago Lawn. Only the Austin area measured about the same as last year. Four are better: South Lawndale, West Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and West Englewood.
Funding for the plan was approved by the City Council in the budget drafted by Lightfoot. It includes more than $50 million going to more than two dozen organizations for street outreach, victim services, transitional jobs, scholarships and domestic violence.
Who are those neighborhood organizations and do they spend the money effectively?
That’s where the transparency and accountability issues arise. More than half the money is not earmarked for any particular neighborhood, according to the Sun-Times, and “there is little information available on what exactly these groups are doing and how effective they’ve been” and it has it “has been difficult to gauge whether money spent so far has been going where it’s needed most.”