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Emanuel’s Misguided Street Gangs Initiative
By RAY HANANIA
Friday, June 01, 2012 Southwest News-Herald Newspaper
Chicago is a war zone. When you have 10 murders and 40 injuries from gang related shootings over the course of a “holiday weekend,” you can’t conclude anything else.
It doesn’t help when our Top Cop, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, is seen crying on national TV during the NATO protests. So weak and so not Chicago!
McCarthy’s moment symbolizes the absence of real leadership.
They’re not doing enough. Not McCarthy and not his boss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is more about management by press release than by substance.
What has Mayor Emanuel done in his first year in office?
Seriously. Nothing. He’s done nothing except blame everyone else for his problems.
Emanuel hammered the suburbs with a 25 percent water rate hike this year and 15 percent water rate hikes for each of the next three years. The truth is the city has routinely raised water rates 15 percent making suburbanites pay for Chicago’s financial failures.
He’s hammered businesses. His answer to the state’s failure to continue to cover Chicago’s budget deficits has been to punish pensioners. Yes, pensions have been too lenient, but worse, governments have failed to invest the funds into the pensions, passing off the responsibility to later generations.
Now it is all coming to roost.
Mayor Emanuel promised to change things, but he has turned out to be no different than any other fat-wallet politician who bought his way into office. Emanuel didn’t win the office by offering new ideas. He bought the office by spending millions more than his closest, more experienced rivals.
What is Chicago today? A shooting gallery of street gang related attacks.
Worse, Emanuel has gutted what once was Chicago’s strength. It’s diversity. Communities that worked together in the past are now being forced to compete with each other for a piece of the pie.
The truth is Mayor Emanuel has not provided answers to Chicago’s problems. Instead of inspiring new ideas, he has whitewashed old ideas.
Emanuel is taking advantage of the collapsing Chicago news media, who is slowly being compromised by corporate takeovers. They can’t hold Emanuel’s feet to the fire because they just don’t have the fire anymore. They spend more time acting as his PR agents, printing his press releases than taking his failed administration to task.
Why should Emanuel come up with new ideas that might be risky to challenge old problems that seem immune to solutions? Rising property taxes. Failed police protection. A behemoth budget shortfall that continues to grow. A shrinking employment base. Worsening street gang related violence.
The Chicago Public Schools are a mess. Public Transportation is a frightfest of fear. People who ride the CTA buses and trains spend more time worrying about being mugged or shot than enjoying the commutes to and from work.
Contracts continue to go to his pals. He is more concerned about how the rest of the world views Chicago than by the reality of what’s here.
He did a masterful job of taking the NATO conference, which should never have been brought to Chicago, and making it look like Chicago has somehow become a better place because our police didn’t replica the “police riot” that took place in 1968.
Chicago is still the city that doesn’t work. It’s narrow shoulders getting smaller, holding up fewer and fewer.
One year later, Mayor Emanuel has delivered nothing but PR spin worthless headlines.
(Join Ray Hanania every Sunday at 8 a.m. on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 to discuss this and other Chicagoland topics and at http://www.RadioChicagoland.com.) — City & Suburban News-Herald
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com