Hi Mayor: My problem is a bit more general, but pertains to us Chicagoans who are entering our 60s. I have about 6.5 more months until I hit the Big 6-Oh-My-Gosh, but 1 of my main concerns is my MOTHER who is 83. For the most part we are worried about CRIME ON THE STREET & its increase and frequency. Besides bad weather in the city (which I know you have no control over), older People (those 60 & older) worry about falling. As the days get darker from November – March, it’s not ‘that safe’ to be out. Many people also live on side-streets and find it is a tad-bit scary to walk down those blocks because QUITE FRANKLY you just don’t know WHO is hiding & lurking in the shadows.
On Dec. 23, 1991, I was accosted, beat up, robbed & left-for-dead in the lobby of my apt. bldg. where I live today. That was not fun – esp. since it happened 2 days before Xmas. My attacker did not realize I was Jewish & was not carrying any Christmas Gifts in my big black tote. Artists always carry those. They are so convenient when schlepping our projects around from Point A to B.
Now, I know our fine City is the THIRD largest in the USA & according to Wikipedia
“among metropolitan areas, the Chicago area has the 4TH largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world.”
And, I keep up with the News & realize we are in DEBT due to wreckless mismanagement – I know how that goes because my Father was Mayor for 16 years in Mendota, IL USA, and he tried to bring in commerce. etc.
The 3 main points that fuel ‘my fire’ are:
1) The population of the City – the demographics – ie: Chicagoans – our neighbors) are getting older. But this is good. Experience counts. The(ir) Stories are cool. Babyboomers (as myself) are aging gracefully. Our parents are ‘already there’ – coming in at the 75+ year mark.
2) Crime (and the lack of jobs and/or opportunity to have a job that pays all the bills like it was in the 1970s-1980s) combined with drugs, drinking & the proliferation of the handgun (where they are a dime-a-dozen on the streets) cause a ‘criminal element’ to ‘attack’ those they feel are prey. That’s 1 of the reasons why I was attacked on Dec. 23, 1991 – I looked like ‘easy prey’ for a quick get-away.
3) CHICAGO (who will be celebrating her 175TH Birthday on March 4TH) has lots of fun things to do; however, if a person feels like he/she would be safer by just staying at HOME & missing out on all this CULTURE via all the 100 diff. neighborhoods we have access to, this is a very sad commentary for what can become a totally wasted life.
There’s got to be SOME group that aids and assists Seniors who want to get out without the Fear Factor playing such a large role in their lives. I know I speak for the masses here.
I suggest we all work on a PLAN that I call: Operation Kindness: chicagOK ™ where the last 2 letters of chicagOK – become Operation Kindness. Basically, it’s a way to help out one’s neighbors and make sure they have QUALITY OF LIVING on a day-by-day bases without the worry of weather – crime & what happens to us just because we get old. If a plan like this would be PUT INTO ACTION throughout our neighborhoods, it would be a win-win situation for all involved.
This was just something I wanted to tell you about --- to keep in the back of your mind as I know you meet with LOTS of different people every day. If anyone of them would like to hear more or discuss more things about Operation Kindness: chicagOK ™, they can just email me at: askoopersmith(at)hotmail(dot)com – or facebook me!
I’m basically just a P&C: Point & Click away, Mayor!
Thank you for your time!
Cheers, ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
Screenwriter – Author – Eventologist – Promoter
SKiN: Sacred Kinship in Nature ™
How 10 Beloved Plush Toys Redefine Race ©2009
Chicago – IL USA
Monday: 1-23-2012 – 4:15 PM CST
EDITORIAL NOTE: As posted on: ASK Chicago - The Facebook TownHall on Education.