Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling it as she sees it, and on Tuesday, the newly-elected mayor said that Chicago’s never-ending cycle of gang violence is connected to a “systemic disinvestment” in the South and West Side neighborhoods in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“I didn’t come into this with any illusions that we were gonna be able to wave a magic wand and reverse trends that have been in the making for some time,” Lightfoot said during a luncheon speech to the City Club of Chicago. “We were down on homicides from a year ago. But, we were up on shootings—and that’s clearly unacceptable.”
Still, despite the engagement, the results were similar to previous years. Seven were killed over the long weekend, with 34 left wounded.
“A lot of what we’re seeing out there are crimes of poverty,” Lightfoot told luncheon attendees. “The violence that plagues these economically-isolated and racially-segregated communities is also no surprise. It’s what happens when the government and private capital pull out and focus elsewhere.”
Lightfoot also used her speech to once again emphasize her determination to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, fix the city’s punitive ticketing, fining and booting policies, and work on a plan for civilian police review that has been pushed by the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability.