By Dylan Deprey
As the New Year rang in, so did the final count for Chicago’s horrifying murder rate. No man, woman or child was safe. The sound of semi-automatic weaponry sung children to sleep, while ricocheting bullets flew throughout neighborhoods causing chaos and once again converting the Windy City into a war zone.
President Elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to share his grievances with the record setting spike in homicides.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
Only 90 miles north of Chicago is another Midwest Urban population fighting for their lives as well.
Alderman Bob Donovan, Public Safety Committee chair, and Alderman Mark Borkowski, Public Safety Committee Vice Chair, invited President-elect Donald Trump to visit Milwaukee to get a firsthand account of the escalating public safety issue in a letter released Jan. 4, 2016.
“It is frankly invigorating to hear the future occupant of the Oval Office speak so directly and particularly to the needs of a ‘rust belt’ urban area and then go even farther and offer to begin a conversation about a federal response to the problem of urban violence,” the letter stated.
The letter includes a brief history lesson on the city of Milwaukee on how the once thriving machine metropolis flooded with workers from around the country were stuck in urban decay and an all around spike in violence.
“With the malaise of the 1970s lingering into the 1980s, all this began to change. One by one-at first all but imperceptibly-these corporate citizens either closed or shrank dramatically. Residents either left for other communities or stayed to confront unemployment or underemployment.
Crime fear and disorder became problems we have never since managed to truly abate,” the letter stated.
Although the lights from Milwaukee’s downtown have shone bright, whether it’s the increase in carjacking or another innocent bystander being struck by a stray bullet, the shadowy aftermath in neighborhoods throughout the city have seen an increase in violent and lesser crimes.
Milwaukee’s homicide rate slightly dropped from 24.2 per 100,000 residents in 2015 to 23.7 per 100,000 in 2016. Chicago’s rose from 17.2 per 100,00 in 2015 to 28 per 100,000 in 2016.
While the alderman asked for the president-elect directly, like many Americans, The Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump (MCAT) do not think Trump is the solution.
“Alderman Donovan and Borkowski’s plea to Trump is nothing more than a publicity stunt. The ideology of Trump and his allies are the cause of Milwaukee’s troubles, not the solution,” said MCAT in a statement.
“The reactionary ideas of Trump and his supporters are the ideas of the past, they are actually not very popular because they have been proven wrong over and over.”
MCAT is a coalition of grassroots groups organizing to stop Trump and the hate speech that seems to ensue him. MCAT also works to prevent attacks on minorities, immigrants, refugees, religious groups, the disabled and LGBTQ community.
Trump will be sworn into office on Jan. 20 and the Coalition is planning an inauguration protest at Red Arrow park.
“Donovan and Borkowski are trying to stay relevant by clinging to the most unpopular President Elect of all time, but a massive resistance is organizing to sweep out these old ideas,” MCAT said in a statement.
Ald. Donovan and Ald. Borkowski congratulated Trump on his presidential victory and said they welcome Trump to witness the public safety crisis firsthand.
“Failing this, please know that we stand ready to work with you in partnership to bring much needed assistance to this community we serve,” the letter stated.