"Pamela Norwood, a clerk at a nearby Payless shoe store ... has worked at the shoe store for about a year and said violence has always been customary."Right across from the alderman's office. A block from a brand new project that cost tens of millions of dollars and was touted as the salvation of Uptown.
For this woman who's worked there for the past year, "Violence has always been customary."
Let's add this truism to Helen Shiller's legacy of failed social innovations: Ignoring violence doesn't stop it; it makes it worse.
The person who is supposed to be leading this ward:
- won't acknowledge the violence, even when murders and shootings happen right across the street from her office
- won't admit that the residents she's supposed to represent are right to be scared ("What is it about this particular video that caused such great fear in so many people?")
- won't meet with the concerned community (remember "Run, Helen, Run"? remember "This isn't your college campus, sweetie"?)
- won't admit that street rioters carrying bricks and clubs are guilty of anything more than "attempted fisticuffs"
- won't attend CAPS meetings or send representatives ... unless the mayor's around for a "very special" joint CAPS meeting that none of the regular CAPS facilitators are notified about, right before a close election
- has a son who makes his living by suing police officers, including those working in her own ward
You know that old saying about "lead, follow or get out of the way"? After 24 years of putting a check in the box that reads "none of the above," she's finally getting out of the way. No matter what the weather or your schedule is like in February, make yourself a promise - right now - that you'll vote and elect a leader for the 46th Ward. Someone who won't accept that "Violence has always been customary." Someone who cares enough, and knows enough, to start reversing the terrible pattern of nightly drive-bys and mid-afternoon gunfire at Wilson and Broadway. Someone who's willing and able to lead.