Black Middle Class Fleeing Chicago To Escape High Murder Rates

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Chicago is the most murderous city in the country and the violence is causing many black middle-class residents to flee.

Black middle-class families in Chicago are increasingly moving to the suburbs to avoid gun violence, according to PBS News Hour on Sunday. “From 2000 and 2014, just over 200-thousand African-Americans left Chicago, that’s roughly one out of every five blacks,” according to the report.

“When we map over population loss and look at where crime is, and we look at the fact that that population loss has a lot of children, you see a relationship. We’re seeing families first more so than households, you know, single people or two-person households with no kids,” Urban Planning Professor Janet Smith at the University of Illinois-Chicago told PBS.

Taxation is taking a heavy hit since many of the city’s citizens are skipping town, the president of Chicago’s Urban League, Shari Runner told PBS. “If you’re thinking about being a planner, a city planner, you’re thinking about anticipating revenue from taxes from people who live and work in the city. All of those assumptions have to be re-looked at, and how does that impact city as a whole in terms of how is it going to make that up and provide the resources it needs as a city to provide for citizens.”

Improved work training programs, as well as higher quality housing are major plans to stymie the violence, according to Runner. “We have program called Opportunity Works that specifically targets 16-to-24-year-olds to make sure that they’re job ready, that they have access to jobs so they can begin to be contributing parts of our community and will stay away from those other kinds of activities that will put them at risk for being involved in the juvenile justice system,” the city’s Urban League president said.

The city of Chicago is run by embattled Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was elected in 2011 after serving as President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, and reelected in 2015.

Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the whole country. High crime rates in Obama’s adopted hometown and excessive use of force by police prompted Emanuel to recently disband the city’s cop oversight agency.

“It is clear that a totally new agency is required to rebuild trust in investigations of officer-involved shootings and the most serious allegations of police misconduct,” the mayor wrote of the disbandment in a Chicago Tribune op-ed Friday.

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