Gold Coast

Afterthoughts: Chicago’s 2015 Mayoral Election

In case you hadn’t heard, Rahm Emanuel remains Mayor of Chicago after defeating Jesús “Chuy” García yesterday in a run-off election 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent with 98.7% of precincts reporting.

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the 2015 mayoral election in Chicago:

1. The fact that “Chuy,” a Cook County commissioner who was born in Durango, Mexico, forced Mayor Emanuel into a first-ever run-off election for the position signaled two things. One, a number of Chicago voters aren’t too happy with the way the “Rahmfather” is running the city. And two, Chicago’s Hispanics continue to flex their growing political muscle. Natasha Korecki reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website back on March 15:

According to census data from 2010, Hispanics make up just shy of 29 percent of the city’s population- but they account for only 13 to 15 percent of the electorate. (Garcia’s campaign says that number was at about 16 percent on Feb. 24.)

Should trends hold, I envision Latinos making significant gains with that percentage. Korecki added:

“The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment of the early-childhood population,” says Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, an Emanuel supporter. “Latinos make up 47 percent of students in CPS,. It’s a very significant population…

Last December, the U.S. Census Bureau forecasted that Hispanics will comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population within the next 30 years- up from approximately 17 percent right now.

At risk of sounding like “Captain Obvious” here, I’m thinking Chicago’s future will be a much more Latino one. Particularly as city government is concerned.

(Editor’s note: Back in the fall of 1988 I told my high school Spanish teacher I wanted to learn the language because I thought it would “come in handy” someday. Has it ever.)

2. After being forced into a run-off, the Rahm camp realized he’s rubbed a number of Chicagoans the wrong way. Which led to commercials like this:

“New Rahm Emanuel Ad: ‘I Can Rub People The Wrong Way’”
YouTube Video

So now that he’s won the run-off, what’s Mayor Emanuel “tune” now? Rick Pearson and Bill Ruthhart reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

After finishing a salad and bowl of matzo ball soup, Emanuel was asked what he learned from the runoff and whether he would, in fact, be a more inclusive mayor in his second term.

Emanuel responded by confidently saying the feedback he’d gotten from voters during the campaign would serve as his “North Star.” Asked by the Tribune if that meant he would take a different approach to running the city, Emanuel instead deflected the question by telling the reporter: “You’ll evaluate that, and my guess is you’ll tell me on a 24-hour basis.”

Pressed again on whether he had heard the voters and would change his often brusque style, Emanuel responded with just one word:


(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yeah. I don’t know about you, but the impression I get from that response is- something tells me old habits might be particularly hard to break with this one.

I can’t help but wonder if dead fish aren’t already on their way…

3. Chicago’s “financial reckoning day” is still fast approaching. And I don’t think it matters who’s in charge, as I believe we’re too far along in the deterioration and the required political will to do something about it just isn’t there. Still. I read a “funny” comment on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop earlier today. From a Tuesday night post:

Anonymous said…

Blah blah blah. The city will not go.bankrupt. We are third in the country for tourists, we have numerous international and national companies world headquarters plus we have a 100s of millions in tif funds. Commie chuy was a police hater that had no plan for this city. Rahm ain’t no picnic either but next to chuy he was a genius.

Now consider what the National Journal’s John B. Judis reported on March 30:

Chicago is facing a truly grave set of problems– problems that are essentially more extreme versions of the challenges confronting city governments across the country.

The quandaries begin with Chicago’s dramatic social divide. To an even greater extent than is the case in, say, New York or Philadelphia, Chicago has become two entirely separate cities. One is a bustling metropolis that includes the Loop, Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, and the Gold Coast, as well as the city’s well-to-do, working-class, and upwardly mobile immigrant neighborhoods. The other Chicago consists of impoverished neighborhoods on the far South and West Sides, primarily populated by African-Americans. These places have remained beyond the reach of the city’s recovery from the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, even as it grapples with this extreme gap, Chicago is suffering from a severe fiscal crisis. Like plenty of other municipalities, Chicago lacks the revenue to pay its bills, particularly its pension obligations to city workers. According to a 2013 Pew report, 61 other U.S. cities face similar difficulties, but Chicago’s situation is one of the worst. “Voters must realize we are facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” says Roosevelt University’s Paul Green, the doyen of Chicago political experts. “If something doesn’t happen, the city is beyond the abyss.”

Those problems aren’t really Emanuel’s fault, but his efforts to fix them over the past four years haven’t yielded especially good results. For his part, Garcia—who has been at the forefront of Latino politics in Chicago for four decades and who has a history of bucking Chicago’s political establishment—has run a campaign long on general populist criticism of the incumbent, but short on credible ideas about what he would do differently.

All of which means that this election won’t yield much of a mandate for dramatic solutions to Chicago’s twin crises

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Translated: Probably doesn’t matter who won the election, because Chicago looks to “lose” with either at the helm.

Once again, the economic situation appears too far gone at this point, and the political will to truly get the city’s finances back on track just isn’t there.

I hope Judis is wrong. And I hope I’m wrong here.

But the numbers are looking pretty atrocious right now.

As much as I’d like to side with “Anonymous,” as Rahm Emanuel enters his second term as Mayor of Chicago, I feel that proverbial brick wall is still fast-approaching.

Perhaps the best Chicagoans can hope for at this point is a controlled crash landing.

I know one thing. If I were still living in the city, I’d be preparing for the coming carnage.

More on that topic soon.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Korecki, Natasha. “Getting Hispanics to the polls in Chicago mayor’s race no slam dunk for Chuy.” Chicago Sun-Times. 15 Mar. 2015. ( 8 Apr. 2015.

Pearson, Rick and Ruthhart, Bill. “’Second chance.’ Emanuel says he’s ‘humbled’ by victory.” Chicago Tribune. 8 Apr. 2015. ( 8 Apr. 2015.

SCC. “Mixed Bag.” Second City Cop. 7 Apr. 2015. ( 8 Apr. 2015.

Judis, John B. “Broken city: Rahm Emanuel and the unraveling of Chicago.” National Journal. 30 Mar. 2015. ( 8 Apr. 2015.


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Nice Chicago Neighborhoods Suffer Rash Of Strong-Arm Robberies

Strong-arm robberies have taken place in the nicer Chicago neighborhoods of Lake View and Gold Coast. From the website of Chicago FOX affiliate Friday morning:

Chicago Police have issued an alert warning of several recent purse robberies during the early morning hours in the Lakeview neighborhood.

A man and woman approach female victims from behind on a sidewalk or in an alley, shove them forcefully to the ground, and rob them of their purses, according to the community alert from Area North detectives…

The strong-arm robberies took place on December 19 and 20 on the 800 block of West Oakdale Avenue, 500 block of West Briar Place, and 3500 block of North Southport Avenue.

And from the Chicago Tribune website yesterday:

A 70-year-old man was shot in the foot during a robbery outside the Archbishop’s Residence in the North Side’s Gold Coast neighborhood, authorities and a relative said.

The man was walking his dog in the 1500 block of North Astor Street, adjacent to the mansion where Cardinal Francis George lives, when someone wearing a mask grabbed him from behind and put a gun to his head about 7:30 p.m…

“Give me your [expletive] wallet,” the robber said, according to the family member.

When the 70-year-old explained that he doesn’t carry a wallet, the assailant fired a shot into his foot…

When asked about the incident, representatives for the Archdiocese of Chicago suggested the holdup might be the work of the South or West Side Amish.

Just kidding. Watch your six, Lake View and Gold Coast.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


“Police warn of violent purse robberies in Lakeview neighborhood.” Sun-Times Media Wire. 27 Dec. 2013. ( 29 Dec. 2013.

Sege, Adam. “Man, 70, shot during Gold Coast robbery outside Archbishop’s Residence.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Dec. 2013. ( 29 Dec. 2013.


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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago ‘Magnificent Mile’ Robbery Latest In Series Of Criminal Incidents By Young People Downtown

(Editor’s note: According to the Chicago news media tonight, the Chicago Police Department is saying the following robbery story is unfounded. How much is untrue still remains to be seen.)

Here’s a headline that’s sure to make Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cringe today:

“Woman robbed of $200K worth of jewelry on Mag Mile”

From the WGN Chicago Web Desk last night:

A 69-year-old woman was robbed of as much as $200,000 in jewelry, cash and other items by a group of young men in front of a North Michigan Avenue department store this afternoon, authorities said…

The woman… was robbed by a group of at least three and as many and eight young men, law enforcement sources said…

The woman told police the group surrounded her, and demanded her money and jewelry.

John Garcia added on the ABC Chicago website this morning:

It happened around noontime in the middle of a crowded sidewalk

Authorities say there were as many as ten young men in the group. They reportedly threatened her, but she gave up the valuables and was not hurt.

It is the latest in a series of criminal incidents involving groups of young people on North Michigan Avenue.

In March, police arrested dozens of young men and women who gathered in the area and were allegedly attacking shoppers and police.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

WGN Chicago is reporting that the Chicago Police Department is not classifying Wednesday’s incident as being a “flash mob.” But like I blogged Tuesday:

Still, if I were an urban dweller/visitor in that part of the city, I wouldn’t let my guard down for an instant. They shouldn’t be doing that anyway, especially as the more-established criminal element in the city is probably well-aware of the ongoing manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department.

As for City Hall? They’re probably wishing May 19 had already arrived.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


“Woman robbed of $200K worth of jewelry on Mag Mile.” Chicago Tribune. 15 May 2013. ( 16 May 2013.

Garcia, John. “Woman robbed of jewelry, thousands in cash on Michigan Avenue.” ABC Chicago. 16 May 2013. ( 16 May 2013.


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Thursday, May 16th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Spring Wilding In Chicago

Anyone remember this excerpt from a March 20 post I published about Chicago’s wilding problem?:

One needs only to follow local events (Second City Cop blog is my vehicle of choice) the last two years to recognize that Chicago has a wilding problem. So much so that City Hall is now even talking about clamping down on flash mobs/mob actions/mob attacks what have you.

Alas, talk is cheap.

And the wilding was back in full-force downtown this past weekend:

“Mob Attacks”
Chicago CBS Channel 2 Video

One witness, community activist Andrew Holmes, estimated the number of wilding participants was close to 500 individuals.

As for the supposed clamp-down? Fran Spielman reported yesterday on the Chicago Sun-Times website:

In an email to his constituents, downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) described Saturday’s incident as “very disturbing” and said it was “orchestrated” on Facebook and Twitter involving 400 young people.

Reilly said he planned to meet with police officials this week to press for “additional, high-visibility resources” for downtown commercial corridors during warm weather months, including foot and bike patrols and a beefed-up CTA detail.

Shouldn’t Alderman Reilly be talking to the downtown business owners? After all, they’re the ones who’d be footing the bill for the extra police presence as part of his ordinance- last I heard.

No dinero from those local businesses, no cops.

If it’s on-duty CPD officers he’s referring to, I’m guessing the alderman never got that memo about the ongoing manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department? From what I understood, “extra” cops are being paid overtime to help saturate some of the city’s problem neighborhoods these days.

Leaving districts like mine (16th District) an attractive target for the city’s criminal element.

As it stands right now, warm weather looks to be heading back into the Chicagoland area by the end of the week. Which should make for an interesting weekend in “Wildingville.”

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Spielman, Fran. “Attacks on Mag Mile, CTA dim glow from 69% drop in murder rate.” Chicago Sun-Times. 1 Apr. 2013. ( 2 Apr. 2013.


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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Crime Spike In Chicago’s Gold Coast Neighborhood?

There’s a crime spike going on in Chicago’s posh Gold Coast neighborhood. At least that’s what the FOX Chicago news desk is saying is going on these days. Reporter Joanie Lum wrote on their website this morning:

Another Gold Coast store has been hit by robbers – only this time, they were not so successful.

Ikram Fashion on was hit by crooks on Huron and State, in addition to the recently burgled Jimmy Choo store on the Gold Coast.

Police said thieves used a sledgehammer to try to break into the high-end store, but this time the glass was too thick, and they could not break in.

Ha ha.

According to Lum, four teens are suspected of this crime and targeting stores of the same caliber in the area. She added:

This is the latest incident in a crime spike that has hit the tourist-heavy, ritzy areas like the GOld Coast and the Magnificent Mile.

Last Thursday, two burglars pried open the door of the Jimmy Choo store on Oak Street at 1:45 AM and made off with several handbags, ranging in price from $500 to $1,500 a piece.

Gold Coast. Lots of wealthy urban liberals living down there. Reminds me of an anonymous comment I read in the Chicago police blog Second City Cop way back on May 3, 2011, and which I noted in a post the following day about the mob attacks and wildings going on down there:

I always tell the mutts on the west side to go and rob the liberals. They have all the money and will not put up a fight, I guess they started to listen.

Come on, Rahm. Time to “bite the bullet” and really slash wasteful spending to give the CPD the manpower and tools they need to deal with the increasingly-brazen criminals in the city.


Lum, Joanie. “Gold Coast store hit with sledgehammer, thieves unsuccessful.” FOX Chicago. 11 Dec. 2012. ( 11 Dec. 2012.

“Wildings Continue.” Second City Cop. 3 May 2011. ( 4 May 2011.


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Chicago’s Thanksgiving Weekend Violence

Regrettably, the long Thanksgiving weekend was a violent one here in the Chicago:

• 4 killed, 20 wounded from Wednesday to Sunday
• 451 murders in Chicago through November 11, the Chicago Police Department told the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend
• Friday morning, a 44-year-old woman was choked, knocked to the ground, and kicked in a failed purse-snatching incident just off the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood- which recently suffered two other violent incidents. Once again, the man charged in the robbery attempt has an extensive rap sheet, is on parole, and was even wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle when arrested.
• Early yesterday morning, three individuals tried to rob a commercial bakery only a couple of minutes from me on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Some employees managed to escape the rest of their co-workers being rounded-up at gunpoint and forced into a walk-in cooler- and called police. The would-be robbers (killers?) fled the Jefferson Park establishment once they realized their “mistake.”

Even though the temperatures are dropping here in the “Windy City,” the criminals are not only still hard at work, but keep getting closer. Any remaining doubts I might have had about this being the case were dispelled the other weekend when an armed robbery went down in a nearby alley.

6 more months to go still before the planned move…


Lansu, Michael. “4 dead, 20 wounded in holiday weekend violence.” Chicago Sun-Times. 25 Nov. 2012. ( 26 Nov. 2012.


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Monday, November 26th, 2012 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago’s Gold Coast Violence Yields Disturbing New Info

In the aftermath of two violent incidents on Chicago’s Gold Coast- the stabbing of an out-of-town visitor dining at a hotel restaurant on the Magnificent Mile and a shoplifting incident where a Chicago police officer narrowly-avoided being run down by the fleeing thieves by shooting at their car- some disturbing information is coming out.

First, the suspect in the stabbing, 56-year-old Jimmy Harris, had been released from prison on parole just 8 days earlier. William Lee and Jason Meisner wrote on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Harris, who has past gang ties, has at least 60 arrests and nine felony convictions dating to the late 1970s, according to Chicago police, state and court records.

“This defendant is clearly a danger to the community,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said in court of Harris…

60 arrests? 9 felonies? How is it that someone like Mr. Harris is awarded parole to roam freely among the law-abiding citizens of Chicago?

I wrote back on June 14 about something the Chicago police blog Second City Cop said concerning putting the wilding/mob action participants behind bars:

Regarding SCC’s suggested fix of putting these “wild childs” in prison- here in Chicago and Cook County committing a crime doesn’t always get you time.

And if you are unlucky enough to have to serve time, it might not be for long.

Some blame liberal judges. Others, a dysfunctional prison system. All I know is this. There are plenty of examples of the above that come to mind…

Sounds like we have the same situation taking place here. John Garcia of Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 News reported on their website this morning that:

Prosecutors say Harris was on a parole after serving half of a sentence for the 2007 slashing of a grocery store clerk.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Half a sentence.”

Disturbing. All I can say is, watch your six in the “Land of Lincoln” if you’re not doing so already.

Second, here’s what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to say yesterday about the recent violence in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Stefano Esposito and Rosalind Rossi wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday pointed to this weekend’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival ceremony as proof that the city’s upper-crust Gold Coast is safe — despite two violent incidents there within 24 hours.

“We had 1 million people and not a single incident” during the popular Saturday evening festival along Michigan Avenue, Emanuel told reporters.

The stabbing of a festival visitor inside a bathroom of a Michigan Avenue hotel occurred about an hour after the festival concluded.

“You’re interested in the Magnificent Mile. There are other things I’m looking at…. I think every day the city is making progress,” the mayor said.

Lee and Meisner added from their Trib piece:

“It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile,” Emanuel said at an unrelated new conference. “I want Roseland as safe as Ravenswood, I want South Shore as safe as Sauganash and I want Woodlawn as safe as Wildwood. And I won’t rest until that happens.”

“You’re interested in the Magnificent Mile.” “It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile.”

As nice as it is to hear that the Mayor takes the public safety of all Chicago neighborhoods seriously, law-and-order along North Michigan Avenue and at other tourist spots must be a high-priority for City Hall. Out-of-towners don’t come to the Windy City to visit the Austin or Englewood neighborhoods, for example. They head to the Magnificent Mile and elsewhere downtown to spend their hard-earned cash shopping, dining, on entertainment, etcetera. This spending activity generates a good deal of the revenue needed to fund City operations and Mayor Emanuel’s pet programs.

Let the savages run rampant on the Magnificent Mile and elsewhere downtown, and this city is toast.

Some point out the wildings and mob actions in these areas and claim the decline has already started. Truly disturbing.

“It’s not about just the Magnificent Mile.”

No, but the city sure has a lot at stake in the Mag Mile. Chicago cannot afford to let public safety be compromised along North Michigan Avenue- or else.


Lee, William and Mesiner, Jason. “Suspect in Mag Mile stabbing had 60 arrests, 9 felony convictions.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Nov. 2012. (,0,4467911.story). 20 Nov. 2012.

Esposito, Stefano and Rossi, Rosalind. “Gold Coast is safe despite incidents over weekend, Emanuel insists.” Chicago Sun-Times. 19 Nov. 2012. ( 20 Nov. 2012.


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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments
Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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