August 15, 2020

Chicago's Useless Mayor Continues Harmful Closure of Mag Mile

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago is a city under siege — from within. It breaks my heart to say it, but the majority of Chicagoans have made this possible by decades of voting for Democrats. Most of the City Council members have been more interested in buying votes with corrupt TIF money giveaways and being "liberal" and soft on crime, and now the proverbial chickens have come home to roost.

Rioting, mass looting, and wanton violence are the specters hovering over the city. This weekend, the so-far-ineffectual mayor Lori Lightfoot has ordered a 9:00 PM curfew

On Monday, August 10 there was an "orchestrated" invasion of the city's Magnificent Mile, which is a mixed neighborhood of residential and commercial buildings.  Much of it is within the zip code 60611, one of the nation's wealthiest. 

The "Mag Mile" is an upscale strip of North Michigan Avenue that runs north from the Chicago River up to Oak Street Beach. Between N. Michigan Aven and Lake Michigan, a few blocks east is a neighborhood called "Streeterville." The greater Mag Mile area has been a major attraction for locals and international tourists for many years.

After the events of a week ago, however, businesses are hurt and many may never fully recover. Some businesses were badly damaged. Some have "merely" lost business. People who have enjoyed going into the Mag Mile district for years are now reluctant, afraid that violence could suddenly pop up out of nowhere like a summer storm in South Texas.

Much of the blame falls squarely in the laps of city and county officials, all well-entrenched Democrats. City Journal sums it up (my emphasis added):

The sacking of Chicago’s North Side was more than a tactical failure. For months, key officials—the state’s attorney responsible for prosecution, the mayor, and the governor—have failed to condemn criminals sufficiently or act with necessary force against such violence. They have contributed to a culture of impunity that tolerates mobs and hoodlums.
Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney for Cook County, has already become nationally notorious for refusing to prosecute Jussie Smollett, the actor who lied to the police that he was a victim of racial violence. But her offenses against public order are far worse than her condoning of a provocateur who tried to fracture the city with a falsehood. Foxx has dismissed felony cases brought by the police at a rate 35 percent higher than her predecessor. She raised the threshold for felony shoplifting from $300 to $1,000—and as a result, thieves steal brazenly in broad daylight as well as under cover of darkness. Chicago police chief David Brown suggested that Foxx’s failure to prosecute looters from the previous sacking of the city in June was partly responsible for emboldening the current round of looting.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is also responsible. She has hardly been enforcing a zero-tolerance policy against lawless mobs. (Full article here)
The mayor, indeed the city, needs help from beyond its own ranks. It has been clearly demonstrated that they cannot protect the safety of residents and businesses without such help, yet Mayor Lightfoot has refused to ask for assistance from the federal or even from the Illinois National Guard. Such reinforcements could greatly help her police force to really get the situation under control.

Instead, Mayor Lightfoot makes speeches and decrees that will solve nothing.

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge noted this today (my emphasis added):
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot desperately wants the world to believe that she has the situation in her city under control and that she doesn't need help from the federal government - nor would she ever need it from President Trump. 
But while she puts that facade on during interviews and press conferences with national media, the reality of constant looting, rioting and crime in Chicago continues to unfold; as do its consequences.
For example, this weekend, the city will shut down its Central Business District overnight, effective at 9PM each night. The decision comes "in the wake of looting and unrest downtown, on the Magnificent Mile, and in Streeterville, River North, and the area near North and Sheffield avenues," according to CBS Chicago
Durden detailed the specifics of what-and-where the shutdown would affect, such as river bridges being up to block traffic, blocking part of Lake Shore Drive, ramps on expressways, and interruptions of bus and train service to the area. This, however, is not exactly new: It is an extension of Lightfoot's virtual shutdown of the area.

On August 13, the Chicago Loop Alliance published this advisory:
Through Monday, August 17, at 6 a.m., access to the downtown area will be temporarily restricted from 9 p.m.–6 a.m. The restricted access to the downtown area is NOT a curfew. All residents, workers and employers whose businesses are located downtown will have access at all times. (Read full statement here)
The City of Chicago published this notice on August 12:
Restricted Access to Downtown will continue tonight and through the Weekend from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.–ending at 6 a.m. on Monday, August 17 (Read full statement here)
Rather than increasing police patrols or bringing in additional law enforcement personnel, Lightfoot has effectively surrendered to the chaos. The Mag Mile, along with the adjacent downtown "Loop," River North and River West are areas in which restaurants, bars and theaters are normally open until well after midnight. Stunting their business additionally will help nobody.

You can bet the police are not happy with Lightfoot. On August 12, the police union's president John Catanzara urged tougher measures. He suggested bringing in tow trucks to haul looters' cars away, thereby taking away their ability to escape arrest. Caravans of cars were seen bringing people into the Mag Mile to loot on August 10.

“Car caravans are the biggest problem. They can relocate all of their criminal behavior two miles away within five minutes. We can’t deploy 400 officers two miles away in that same amount of time. They can go where the police are not in a split second. By the time we show up there, we get the stragglers when the main force has already moved on to the next target,” Catanzara said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, agitators continue to urge chaos, and Black Lives Matter is openly endorsing looting.
  • When Authority Vanishes: Chicago’s leaders have surrendered to vandals. - City Journal, 14 Aug 2020
  • Chicago restaurant owner on 'disturbing' looting and rioting: 'Business is terrible, the streets are empty' - Fox News, 11 Aug 2020
  • Chicago politician calls mayor ‘unprepared,’ wants to call in the feds - New York Post, 11 Aug 2020
  • Democrat Chicago alderman says city is in 'total unrest' and 'mayor has lost control' - Fox News, 12 Aug 2020
  • Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at risk for massive store closures, alderman says - CBS-2 Chicago, 7 Aug 2020
  • Democrats Can’t Stop the Monster They Created -, 11 Aug 2020
  • CPD patrols stepped up as businesses hunker down for stay-at-home order - Chicago Sun-Times, 21 March 2020

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