Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Useless Public Safety Meeting

12 May, 2009 - Uptown has a crime problem. Many neighborhoods do, and the fact that Uptown has crime is no news flash. Last night, another useless "Uptown Public Safety Town Hall Meeting" was held in the same Truman College cafeteria where they held one on July 30, 2008. Last night's meeting produced as many solutions as did the July meeting: None. Zip. Nada. Even as the meeting was about to start, at 7:00 p.m., Chicago police officers were making an arrest directly in front of Truman College. A woman was chased by a man as she was, ironically, on her way to the "public safety" meeting. The man allegedly solicited her for sex and was disappointed when she told him she is not a prostitute. The woman, being chased, ran into the Truman cafeteria and asked someone to call police. They came quickly (they're never far away in Uptown), and at 7:00 p.m. they were detaining the man across the street (photo). Even as crime was happening all over Uptown, in a 360-degree radius for blocks around Truman College, the meeting's organizers were getting ready to present yet another "public safety" meeting. The entire meeting, as have been previous ones like it, was nothing more than a shot of whiskey to the man about to have his leg amputated. It does no real good except to temporarily numb the pain, and doesn't change the fact that your leg just came off and it still hurts like hell. Have a shot of that whiskey. You'll feel better. Some of the same faces were there last night: State Senator Heather Steans (Democrat-7), State Representative Greg Harris (Democrat-13) and Commander Kathleen Boehmer of the 23rd District. Commander Lucy Moy-Bartosik of the 20th District was not at last July's meeting. There were more than 120 people attending the meeting in July, but last night there was only about 60 people in attendance, with a some chairs empty. None of the many people who bitch and moan anonymously on the Uptown Update blog had the courage to (a) come to the meeting or to (b) stand up and bitch to the representatives themselves. Remember that the next time you read their cowardly, anonymous comments. Last July's meeting was organized to "address concerns in the wake of a disturbing upsurge of crime in the area, including the May 21 murder of Truman College student Francis Oduro, 22, who was shot to death while walking on the sidewalk in the 4500 block of N. Broadway." (Source: ChiTownDailyNews.org) A flyer for last night's meeting invited people to "Join Rep. Harris, Sen. Steans, Ald. Schulter, Ald. Shiller and Ald. Smith to hear an update on the progress of the four Public Safety Working Groups created at the last meeting and hear presentations from local service providers to gain knowledge of their services and activities in the community." Here's how much Steans, Harris (photo left), Shiller, Smith and Schulter care about those "Public Safety Working Groups." None of the aldermen showed up, although Shiller sent a proxy to smile and nod thoughtfully while other people spoke. Try to find information about those working groups, though. There's virtually nothing to be found. A Google search pulls up only one hit for "Public Safety Working Groups AND Uptown," to Ald. Shiller's web site. But go to Shiller's site and... you find nothing about the groups. Search for the same on Vroosh and you get the dead Shiller hit plus a hit that links to Greg Harris' current web site page. On Harris' site, the reference is part of a short notice for last night's meeting. Back to Shiller's site, a search for "public safety" pulls up the same. If they really cared, wouldn't it be reasonable to expect them to have something on their web sites about the groups, other than just a passing reference to another useless meeting? More whiskey? Several shots of it were offered up at once. At one point, an insulting slide show was presented. It was supposed to present ways to fight crime. The creative and innovative projects: A listing of Troubled Areas. Yard Signs. Court Advocacy program/CAPS. Neighborhood Watch. Okay, people, put up your yard sign that says "We Call Police," then lay your head on your pillow at night, reassured that the desperate crack addict climbing through your window, knife in hand, will suddenly recall the sign and flee in fear of being arrested before he slashes your throat. Feel good knowing that after the murderous bastard has turned you into a crippled shell of yourself, or even killed you, he will fall into the hands of the liberalized court system, in which a court advocate will do her best to see to it that the naughty crack addict who just needs to be understood gets a very firm slap on the wrist. Don't be upset with the Chicago City Council or Mayor Daley, who kept you from owning a handgun. That gun might have saved your life, but Daley and the Council were only thinking of your safety. Don't resent your neighbors because they didn't see the addict climb through your window at 3:00 in the morning; that Neighborhood Watch sign on their window can't do anything by itself, you see; it can't call the police, and the neighbors were sound asleep. As for the Troubled Area sign half a block from your now-bloodied home, well, that's meant to alert law abiding folks, not actually deter the criminals determined to commit mayhem. Drink up. Have another shot. Feel warm and fuzzy. The speakers at last night's meeting all said the predictable: We're concerned, we don't like crime, we're doing our best to fight crime, talk to us because we want to hear from you, we're doing the best we can. None of it is true. I'm not saying that they lied, just that they did not speak truth. Perhaps they've come to believe their own nonsense. If they are oh-so-concerned, well, two of them are state lawmakers. Think about that for a moment. Steans and Harris are lawmakers. They make laws. Every one of the others who spoke, including Commanders Boehmer and Moy, must work within the framework and the limits of the laws. The laws, that is, that are drafted, written, and voted on by Harris, Steans and the rest of the Illinois Legislature. There are federal laws that can override those of Springfield, but Springfield still has authority over cities, including Chicago. So, when folks such as Steans and Harris tell you they're trying, respond that they're not trying hard enough. If Harris and Steans really cared about fighting crime, they'd be pushing for laws that don't coddle criminals. They'd be pressuring Mayor Daley to give his police force a contract and allow law abiding citizens to own firearms for protection. They would demand that the City of Chicago stop giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants. They'd be demanding that Alderman Helen Shiller, who rules over Uptown, stop resisting police cameras on busy intersections. They would work harder to empower police rather than passing laws, year after year, that further erode the police force's ability to effectively tackle the bad guys (figurative and literally.) After the July meeting last year, Heather Steans (photo, right) said that her "positive loitering" had made several areas of Uptown "crime free." Crime "free" means no crime. Not a reduction, but an elimination of crime. When the audience was allowed to ask questions, I asked Steans to name the specific areas or corners that she had made "crime free," and to tell us if they are still "crime free today." She hemmed and hawed for a moment, then admitted that she should not have said "crime free." She was ready to not specify the locations, however, so I called out to her to do so. She mentioned a strip "near" a park, but couldn't be more specific. "Positive loitering" is a nice way to socialize with neighbors, but it simply cannot make a corner or street crime free unless it is done 24 hours every day. Even then, domestic batteries or drug sales could be going on behind closed doors, undetected. To make such a claim is to either lie in a spectacularly ludicrous fashion or to display profound stupidity. Then again, Heather Steans is someone who's been an accessorie to the donation of around $200,000 to Rod Blagojevich, which is public record, and will not admit it when questioned about it. So to be fair, I suppose, a little spectacularly ludicrous lie about making areas of Uptown "crime free" isn't so bad compared to her unbelievably spectacular, ludicrous lie about being a big-money Blagojevich enabler. So, put those Neighborhood Watch signs up, folks. Stroke your rosary beads and pray, that's helpful too. Buy a lottery ticket, rub the lucky rabbit's foot. Get ready for more neighborhood walks with magical chanting about taking back the night. When you read about the next gang shootout in the hood, when you hear about a killer getting out of prison for good behavior, when you see crime happening on the streets all around you day and night, just keep doing what you've been doing. Hear those gunshots up the street? Daley's anti-gun laws have no effect on the bad guys. Keep bitching and complaining, complacent flock, then continue to vote for the same Democrats who help to enable and empower the criminals and gangs that endanger the lives of you, your families, your neighbors. And while I'm at it, keep voting for the same Machine Democrats who continue to raise those taxes you love to bitch about. Keep voting for the liberal judges who so often side with the offender rather with than the victim. Keep posting nutless, anonymous comments on Uptown Update, and keep fooling yourselves into thinking that helps anything; then don't have the cajones to speak up at a meeting. Keep it up, you spineless slugs - you seem to enjoy the endless cycle of sado-masochism in which you've wrapped yourselves. Sooner or later that pain may get to a point, however, where you'll finally say "enough." Sooner or later, maybe, you just might be able to connect the dots of Liberal Legislators to Continued High Crime. Maybe. Last night's meeting gave no sign that it will happen soon. More from The Bench: Chicago's 24th District More Violent than 23rd District 2009-05-07 Uptown Gangster's Bicycle Shooting Spree 2009-04-20 Uptown Divided: North and South 2009-01-16 Heather Steans, Miracle Peddler 2008-08-19 Alderman Shiller's Bloody Hands Alderman Shiller On Deathbed 2008-07-31 Meaningless Town Hall Meeting Tonight in Rogers Park 2008-11-24 Contractors Gave Blago $80,000 (Steans Gave Him $200,000) 2009-01-12 About Heather's Stains 2009-01-12 Capitol Fax Finds Heather Steans "Refreshing" 2009-01-15 Legislative Update from Heather Steans 2009-01-28 Upcoming Events from Heather Steans 2009-01-28 Chuck Spanks Heather (Hard) 2009-02-03 Leave a Comment on our Guestbook! CommieBama Hats and More Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Follow ChiNewsBench on Twitter