THE BLOG

Mayor Daley: Always There With Outrage the Day After Gang Violence

10/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Clearly Mayor Daley cares about the well-being of Chicago. But does he care enough?

Daley is always out there after a Chicago child is killed by a street gang member. The mayor is always there to react. He gives the emotional speech. He yells his anger into the media microphones who are also only there after-the-fact.

But who is there before the killing of young children at the hands of street gang thugs takes place? Few.

This past week, according to several TV stations, seven people were killed in street gang violence around Chicago. Not all of them were reported or received public attention.

Frankly, I am tired of hearing Mayor Daley tell us how outraged he is at the death of a little child. He does it so often because so often, young children in Chicago are murdered by street gang thugs whom the Chicago Police Department is already aware of.

For the past few weeks, a brave woman named "Carmen" has been writing about the street gang problems in her neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side but no one in Mayor Daley's office is listening.

Carmen's story is no different than the stories of thousands of other families in Chicagoland, where street gang violence has consumed the city and some suburbs.

Gun fire, shootings and even street gang members, who are so brazen they actually confront and challenge the Chicago Police while the Chicago police stand at a distance taunting back, dominate her fears and daily experiences. Read her blog at http://LivinginaWarZone.blogspot.com.

In some cases, the street gang members have better firepower and more powerful weapons than the police.

And in many cases, the street gangs outnumber the police in our neighborhoods. That's wrong. That needs to change.

But these problems don't get the attention they deserve, until only after the violence takes place and when all you can do is to bury the dead and yell about outrage.

I am tired of hearing Mayor Daley yell his outrage.

Mayor Daley is NOT listening because he doesn't hear the cries of help until after the tragedy, when the media flocks to the murder scene and Mayor Daley has to play the political game of covering his political image.

Mayor Daley is not listening to the cries of the public. But he is listening to the yelping of the media frenzy that follows every murder and killing.

Every tragedy is exactly the same.

The police know who the street gang thugs are and which neighborhoods have problems.

Nothing happens.

Then, a young child is killed either intentionally in a drive-by shooting, or by accident as the victim of a turf war between street gangs.

The family is grieved.

The murder makes huge front page headlines.

And every headline creates an opportunity for Mayor Daley to shove his face in front of the cameras. Every time, without exception, he tells the public he cares.

We know you care. But what are you going to do about it?

Among the killings this week, another 10-year old child was murdered on the Southeast Side at 87th and Exchange. Nequiel Fowler had a future. Yet, last week on Labor Day, her life was taken by street gang violence.

It took almost a week for the news media to find the time in its almost total focus on the Obama-McCain presidential election to find some space to devote, on a Saturday, to the murder that took place five days earlier.

The mayor was joined by Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, who I have met and know is sincere, too, and by several local community leaders from the Southwest Side neighborhood where the tragedy took place.

Four men were immediately taken into custody. But the tragedy is the Chicago Police have known about these men for a long time.

They have been charged in Fowler's death.

And Mayor Daley assures us he will react to murders like this.

We don't want reaction any more.

We want pro-action.

Stop yelling Mayor Daley.

Stop giving us the BS outrage.

You are always outraged.

How about for once acting like a real leader?

Do something and set aside your petty politics and reach out to the neighborhoods, something that you abandoned as your "dynasty" grew to new political records and you moved out of the exposed neighborhoods to the safety of a plush location in the South Loop.

Put down the wine and cheese and pick up the cries and pleas of Chicago's neighborhoods.

Come back to the neighborhoods from your plush townhouse with all its police protection, your heavily armed police drivers and escorts, and guards that patrol your home and streets. Get out of your pompous political ivory tower and roll up your sleeves and walk the streets of your city, Mayor Daley.

The real Mayor Daley I knew 20 years ago who fought to be this city's leader has been gone far too long.

We need you back now. We need you back now.