I took this picture below of the Chicago skyline from south of the city along Lake Michigan last night at 8:17 pm CDT.
As I turned to make the return trip home on my bicycle (a newly reintroduced activity in my life) I was taken by the beauty of the sky and the skyine… and so were the 2 other people near me taking the exact same picture. I was about 6 miles south of the Loop. You can click on the photo above to see a full-sized version of it.
Contrast this to this past weekend, which was one of the bloodiest on record in Chicago. Over 40 people shot and 7 killed. Much of the sadness was also within 6 miles of where I took the photo above. That is certainly a picture I don’t want to post here on The Hot Iron, but also one I cannot ignore either.
Before some of you think this post is another blogger complaining about something, hear me out. Yes, I have something to complain about, and it is those whose job it is (and by job I am saying my tax dollars are going to pay their salaries) to deal with the crime in Chicago on a day-to-day basis. Recently these people have been spouting about lower “percentages” of crime. Where that’s all well and good, the average person measures crime in whole numbers, like 7 people killed this past weekend, not to mention the money not spent in the city by those afraid to come here.
Of course I don’t have all the answers for this, and most likely nobody does. This situation did not happen overnight and won’t go away as quickly. We are already spending money on it, and may have to spend more, the question is where. Allow me to make one suggestion here – we need more organizations in Chicago like YouthBuild Boston.
I know about YouthBuild Boston as I have been a supporter of them for years. Granted in recent years that support has been more moral and pro bono support of their Web site, but had I stayed in Boston I might have taken a larger role in the organization. YBB, for short, is an organization who works with young people, giving them the skills to make it on their own in the world, from hard, vocational skills in construction and landscaping to softer people skills, and they even work with young people to help them get their GED if they didn’t complete high school. Their tagline, “Strengthening Youth, Rebuilding Communities,” is literally what they do! Fueled by amazingly strong and spirited leadership and young people who want to make more of themselves, YBB is growing and thriving in Boston, and even if there are organizations like that in Chicago, we could use more of that here.
For when you come down to it, the beauty of Chicago is in all of the hearts, minds and faces of its people and all of its buildings, whether an apartment on the South West side or the Trump Tower.
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
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