By Arlene Jones
Chicago needs healing. The primary responsibility for that healing will lie at the feet of the next mayor. That person will have to take a city that has been ingrained with corruption at every level of government, mortified by the video of the murder of Laquan McDonald, devastated by the billions of dollars in pension-fund deficit, lead us in fixing all our economic woes, while at the same time deal with the reality of crime and the perception of crime.
We are a city losing its middle class taxpayers while at the same time gaining a populace whose economic wealth pales in comparison to the wealth that left. We are becoming a tale of poor Chicago, wealthy Chicago, and underground Chicago. We need a balanced scale and not one tipped heavily in favor of any of those areas.
I doubt that we will ever have a squeaky clean individual as mayor. The litmus test for that type of individual has long since shown that they don't exist. The internet allows all sorts of indiscretions from the past to become current news. Sex scandals, blackface scandals, money scandals and everything else. Anything that can be documented or manufactured is brought up to go against a person so that the emphasis can be on everything but doing the job and fixing the actual problems.
At the same time, the person who is elected mayor is already spending time contemplating their re-election.
How does the next mayor start a campaign to make the people living here be Chicagoans again? I believe it starts with living in a city where we are not victims of it. As Chicagoans, we should not be seen as an endless fountain of financial resources which makes living here hell. I am tired of red light cameras, speeding cameras, fines that double, water bills that are astronomical compared to people who live in the suburbs and buy their water from us, streets with alleys where developers have put in front driveways thus eliminating parking, those endless bike lanes on major artery streets that service a minor segment of the populace while affecting motorized vehicles that are simply attempting to get from point A to point B. I want a mayor who will make the city work again. I want a mayor who understands that many of the Chicago traditions that once made this a great place to live have been eradicated. I want to mayor who can unite the city as opposed to dividing it.
I want a mayor who will truly work to reduce the number of aldermen. There's no need for 50 of them. Technology and dwindling population should come in to play as the primary reasons for reducing the number of wards. The notion of 50 mini-fiefdoms has long since come and gone.
I want the next mayor to do all he or she can to heal this city.
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