local government

DHS Provides Resources, Training To Combat Church Active Shooters

In the wake of the Texas church shooting, houses of worship may be wondering how their congregation might prepare for and respond to an “active shooter.” One resource worth exploring is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, specifically “Active Shooter Preparedness.” From that section:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage. Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident…

Visitors can obtain active shooter preparedness resources as a private citizen, human resources or security professional, active shooter workshop participant, and first responder. Key resources available to the “private citzen” include:

-“How to Respond” Resource Materials: “A series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter” like a booklet, pamphlet, poster, pocket card, and more (translated into other languages too)
-“Options for Consideration” Active Shooter Preparedness Video: Almost 8-minute video which “demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.”
-Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video: 1-hour 36-minute video that “describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario…”

According to TIME magazine, under the Trump Administration DHS has actually been ahead of the curve with training places of worship to deal with active shooter incidents. Elizabeth Dias reported Sunday:

Even before Sunday’s shooting at a small Baptist church in Texas, the Trump Administration was moving ahead with efforts to train houses of worship on emergency security procedures, including active shooter situations.

Now, an Administration official says he’ll be working even harder to train religious leaders on how to secure their members and property.

In the past four months, [director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships office Jamie] Johnson the said his team has collaborated with religious groups on more than a dozen efforts to improve security, but he has plans for more.

“We are going to be a whole lot busier in the months and years to come when it comes to safety and security for houses of worship,” he says. “This issue will now come to the forefront of the religious conversation in America.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good to know. One more thing. Religious institutions might want to investigate if any local resources are available to help prepare for/respond to an active shooter if they haven’t done so already. I’ve stumbled upon a few articles on the Internet these past few days where local law enforcement are offering assistance to churches and such.

DHS’ Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage can be accessed here. And readers can keep abreast of what’s new out of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships here.

Know of any religious facilities that might benefit from this information? Pass it on!

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Dias, Elizabeth. “Trump Administration Might Ramp Up Security Training for Houses of Worship After Texas Shooting.” TIME. 5 Nov. 2017. (http://time.com/5011069/texas-church-shooting-trump-security-training/). 7 Nov. 2017.

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Reuters: ‘Chicago/Cook County’ Risks Losing $526.4 Million Annually In Federal Funds For ‘Sanctuary City’ Stance

It’s being reported U.S. President Donald Trump is serious about blocking federal funds to “sanctuary cities” like Chicago (first blogged about here).

A recent Reuters analysis of federal data determined “Chicago/Cook County” risks losing $526.4 million in annual funds for shielding illegal aliens.

Rory Carroll, Robin Respaut, and Andy Sullivan noted Thursday on Reuters.com:

The numbers do not include federal money for law enforcement, which was excluded in the executive order, and programs like Medicaid, which are administered by state governments.

Though details remain vague, the order could jeopardize billions of dollars in housing, health, education and other types of federal aid.

Carroll, Respault, and Sullivan reported $2.27 billion in annual funds from the feds for the nation’s 10 largest “sanctuary cities” (Chicago included) are threatened.

To see the breakdown by city/county, check out the Reuters graphic here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Carroll, Rory, Respaut, Robin, and Sullivan, Andy. “Top 10 U.S. sanctuary cities face roughly $2.27 billion in cuts by Trump policy.” Reuters. 26 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-sanctuarycities-idUSKBN1592V9?platform=hootsuite). 27 Jan. 2017.

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Trump To Chicago: ‘I Will Send In The Feds!’ To Deal With Escalating Violence

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the following Tuesday night about dealing with Chicago’s escalating violence (blogged about here):

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on January 2, then President-elect Trump tweeted this about Chicago’s bloody 2016:

Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

No response from “The Machine” as I type this.

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the aldermen’s response to that Trump tweet is that they would welcome federal money to combat the violence. I’m sure they would.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 Crime, Government, Political Parties, Public Safety No Comments

Chicago Restrictions To Gun Ranges Ruled Unconstitutional

The City of Chicago lost yet another court battle versus gun “rights.” From a news release yesterday on the website of the Second Amendment Foundation:

A three-judge panel of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today handed the Second Amendment Foundation a victory in its challenge of firearms regulations in the City of Chicago, striking down a zoning provision, reversing an earlier ruling that upheld “distancing” restrictions for gun ranges, and reversing an earlier ruling that upheld certain age restrictions.

Writing for the court, Judge Diane S. Sykes noted, “To justify these barriers, the City raised only speculative claims of harm to public health and safety. That’s not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights.”

“We are delighted with the outcome of this lengthy case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The extremes to which the city has gone in an attempt to narrow its compliance with the Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago can only be described as incredible stubbornness. In the 6½ years since the high court ruling in our McDonald case, the city has had ample opportunity to modify its regulations. Instead, Chicago has resisted reasonableness.

“We had already sued Chicago successfully to knock down its outright ban on gun ranges within the city,” he recalled. “Then they adopted new regulations that included the zoning, distancing and age restrictions that we contested in this legal action, known as ‘Ezell II.’

“The city tried to severely limit where shooting ranges could be located, and they failed,” he continued. “The city put up arguments about the potential for gun theft, fire hazards and airborne lead contamination, and they failed. Even the judge’s opinion today noted that the city had ‘produced no evidentiary support for these claims beyond the speculative testimony of three city officials.’ This nonsense has got to stop

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The “nonsense” Gottlieb speaks of is well-documented on the Chicago Tribune website this morning. From the Associated Press article:

Chicago has suffered a string of defeats in its efforts to restrict guns, which top officials have cited as a major reason for a sharp rise of violence in the city.

The U.S. Supreme Court forced the city to rewrite its firearms ordinance in June 2010, which had banned the ownership of guns in the city. In response, the city came up with an ordinance outlawing the sale of firearms in the city.

A judge ruled in 2014 the city’s ban on gun shops violated the Constitution.

Chicago imposed a blanket ban on shooting ranges in 2010. The Court of Appeals struck down the ban in 2011, prompting the city council to pass ordinances accomplishing the same thing. The Second Amendment Foundation and others took the city to court over the ordinances in 2014.

Sounds like City Hall could really use a refresher course on the U.S. Constitution.

Plus, how much more of the taxpayer dime was blown on this latest anti-Bill of Rights legal activity?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Associated Press. “Appeals court rules restrictions to gun-ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-gun-range-restrictions-20170118-story.html). 19 Jan. 2017.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel To ‘Kneel Before Zod’- Donald J. Trump?

The editorial board at Crain’s Chicago Business published the following about Chicago’s impending loss of clout in Washington, D.C., on the Crain’s website this past Saturday:

Chicago residents, regardless of their personal politics, are going to miss having one of their own in the White House.

As President Barack Obama moves on to his post-presidential life, he takes with him the last vestiges of our once-formidable clout in the nation’s capital. Chicagoans have become accustomed to the idea that, with the right connections, they can be just a phone call away from the highest levels of power. With the incoming Trump administration, that’s about to change

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may recall what I blogged back on December 7:

If readers still don’t think there will be repercussions to Chicago from a Trump administration despite its unabashed support for Hillary Clinton on Election Day (the Democrat received 83.63% of the city’s votes on Election Day), its official policy of providing “sanctuary” to illegal aliens, and political grandstanding (Trump’s honorary street signs downtown were removed this past weekend, courtesy of the City Council), then consider what was published on the Bloomberg website yesterday:

“Chicago Faces Political Power Outage as Trump Succeeds Obama”

Chicago is racing the clock.

Nowhere will political power evaporate more dramatically at noon on Jan. 20 than in the third-largest U.S. city, a bastion of Democratic power that’s enjoyed special access to Washington during President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.

When Donald Trump becomes the 45th president, Chicago will trade a first family and top advisers with deep ties to the city for a chief executive who has repeatedly called it a violent mess embodying the failed policies of his predecessor and the Democratic Party…

Not since the era of Abraham Lincoln have Chicago and Illinois enjoyed such strong ties to the White House and Washington. Obama’s exit will bring an end to that

I wrote back on November 11 in a post entitled “Chicago Could Lose Billions In Federal Funding Under Trump Administration”:

Drip. Drip. Drip.

That’s the sound of federal funds to the “City By The Lake” drying up.

A real possibility. And a lot of moolah at stake…

Crain’s editorial board brought up the much-publicized planned renovation of Chicago’s Union Station in their piece. They penned:

As City Hall pushes for federal funding to revamp Union Station—a project that will require Trump administration support—Chicago may soon learn the limits of its clout in this new era.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If the presence of Trump International Hotel & Tower in downtown Chicago isn’t enough to gain the President-elect’s support for the renovation, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump requires the city to renounce its “sanctuary city” status and/or other concessions he deems important before federal funds are made available.

Will Mayor Emanuel be forced to “kneel before Zod”?

Stay tuned…


“Kneel before Zod!”
Clip from Superman II (1980)
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Editorial Board. “Chicago’s D.C. clout exits with Obama.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170114/ISSUE07/301149996/chicago-will-miss-president-barack-obama). 17 Jan. 2017.

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Moody’s On Chicago Public Schools Crisis: Consider Tax Levy, Pension Contribution Stoppage, Or Bankruptcy

“Chicago and New York rank at the bottom of a new analysis of fiscal strength based primarily on data from 2015 financial reports issued by the cities themselves. The analysis includes 116 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000.

Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance. The Windy City has become a poster child for financial mismanagement, having suffered a series of ratings downgrades in recent years. Aside from having thin reserves and large volumes of outstanding debt, Chicago is notorious for its underfunded pension plans…”

The Fiscal Times, January 9, 2107

Moody’s Investors Service recently weighed in on Chicago’s well-publicized financial crisis. Last Thursday its Global Credit Research division published the following on the Moody’s website:

While unfunded pension liabilities will continue weighing on the City of Chicago’s (Ba1 negative) credit profile, plans to significantly increase contributions with higher taxes is a favorable departure from prior funding practices. However, the liquidity crisis at Chicago Public Schools (CPS — B3 negative) is worsening amid a continued budget impasse at the state level, Moody’s Investors Service says in two new research reports released today…

In “City of Chicago: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s says despite the city’s expanding economy, revenue growth, and healthy liquidity, its pension burden is likely to remain among the highest of any rated, major local government for many years.

“While Chicago’s recent tax increases will provide revenue to significantly increase pension funding, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities exceed seven times its revenue and are projected to grow for at least 15 more years,” says Matt Butler, Vice President of Moody’s…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The well-known credit rating agency added this about the city’s public school system:

In a separate report, “Chicago Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s states CPS’ fiscal pressures are intensifying due to depletion of reserves following years of imbalanced operations, unrealistic budget assumptions, and escalating pension costs…

Moody’s says CPS could consider more difficult options to address its finances should the State of Illinois (Baa2 negative) be unable or unwilling to provide additional relief: levy for debt service on GO alternate revenue bonds, stop making employer pension contributions, or seek state authorization to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

MarketWatch news editor Rachel Koning Beals expanded on Moody’s suggestions for dealing with the CPS situation. She wrote Saturday:

Moody’s has a revised shortlist of painful fixes for the public school system in Chicago.

One idea is to approve another increasingly politically unpopular property-tax levy to pay off debt, as the nation’s third-largest school district just issued another batch of high-interest bonds.

The second idea from the credit-ratings agency is to skip a pension payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, which would come just months after the district and its teacher‘s union hammered out an 11th-hour contract to avoid a second labor strike in a span of four years.

And last resort? Just declare bankruptcy already

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Who’s the say the City will act on any of these suggestions (at least, right away)? That being said, Chicago taxpayers and CPS employees/retirees might want to take heed of all this.

Head on over to the Moody’s Investors Service website here to read the entire release from the Global Credit Research division. It ain’t pretty.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Koning Beals, Rachel. “Maybe Chicago schools should declare bankruptcy and get it over with, says Moody’s.” MarketWatch. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/maybe-chicago-schools-should-declare-bankruptcy-and-get-it-over-with-says-moodys-2017-01-13). 16 Jan. 2017.

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Mexican Paper Reports ‘Migrants Flee To Chicago Before Trump Becomes President’

In a post yesterday about Chicago, I offered up the following to residents who look to remain in the city through what I suspect will be increasingly tough times:

Do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead…

Here’s one more thing these Chicagoans might want to consider:

Learn to speak Spanish, if you don’t already.

Back in high school, I informed one of my Spanish teachers that I wanted to learn the language because I envisioned a future where being able to speak it might come in handy around Chicagoland and in other parts of the country.

It has. Immensely.

Almost a decade ago, I mentioned to my girlfriend that Chicagoans had better get used to a growing Hispanic influence in the city, based on the demographic trends I was observing.

Perhaps even more so now, after reading an article on the website of Mexican financial newspaper EL FINANCIERO. In the piece entitled “Migrants flee to Chicago before Trump becomes president,” Anabel Clemente reported Tuesday:

Before Donald Trump is acting president, on January 20, Mexico’s consul in Chicago, Carlos Martín Jiménez, reported that there is already a displacement of migrants to that city, as a point considered a sanctuary .

During the 28th Meeting of Ambassadors and Consuls, he said that undocumented people, living in localities near Chicago, began moving to that city, where their mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has implemented support measures , such as establishing a Special office called New Citizens , and has put a free phone for those who do not have documentation.

“We have Indiana, which is quite anti-immigrant, almost half the state, and we have a lot of people in Wisconsin . Although there is a new consulate, people are already very accustomed to the Chicago consulate and then they are migrating to Chicago, precisely because of the sanctuary issue, “he said…

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis; Translation exactly as provided by the Google Translate website.)

You can read the entire article here in English via Google Translate or here in Spanish on the EL FINANCIERO website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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