More than 100 businesses are watching closely as Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson continues to make the city even more unsafe just to grab a Starbucks coffee. But none so far has threatened to leave the state.
Meanwhile, Mayor Johnson has laid out his Community Safety Plan, which he says will focus on young people and community involvement to address root causes of crime.
Chicago is looking at its highest crime rates since before the pandemic, leading some to question the approach to crime in the city.
While Chicago has seen murders drop by 12% in the past year, other major crimes have increased, as car thefts are up 42% and robberies by 24% since 2022.
(Feel free to play a laugh track while reading his statements.)
“The People’s Plan for Community Safety will protect the people who are most impacted by violence and prevent future violence through intentional investments in our people and communities,” Johnson said.
Johnson said it was his responsibility to protect the public.
“As a Chicagoan, I feel personally responsible to make sure that people have a chance to grow up and experience the best parts of this city,” Johnson said.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Larry Snelling said partnerships are the way to go.
“When we partner with critical stakeholders and take a unified approach, we will build a stronger city for the people of Chicago,” Snelling said. “Our goal is to build trust between police and the people in our communities while prioritizing law enforcement reform, accountability and transparency.”
However some have said Johnson is not taking a hard enough stance. Ted Dabrowski of Wirepoints said the plan needs to do more.
“I’m not against getting the community more involved; I think it is the right thing,” Dabrowski said. “The missing part, though, is how do you stop the crime happening today in the streets.”
Chicago police statistics show that total crime is up 17% this year and 65% over the last two years.
The plan will address crime by focusing on education, economic opportunity, housing, health, community environment, community violence intervention and policing.
Experts say there are a few reasons why businesses are reluctant to completely pack up and leave just yet.
“These companies have made long-term investments or are thinking about long-term investments in Chicago” and won’t likely retreat solely due to this Mayor without at least a full year in office, Sayna Peterson, founder of SJP Advisors, told Firm Biz. SJP is a consulting firm in New York City that advises companies on social and economic issues.
“The biggest impacts are made not by quitting or pulling the jobs of thousands of hardworking Americans and moving states but by staying and doing the serious and focused work of making things better,” she said.