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Giuliani Endorses McCarthy for Mayor, Chicagoans Fight For Rent Control, Neighborhood Tries to Save ‘Healing Village’ – Third Coast Today 8-6-18

Rudy Giuliani Endorses Garry McCarthy for Mayor

Former New York City Mayor and staunch Trump loyalist Rudy Giuliani endorsed former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy for mayor over the weekend in the wake of one of Chicago’s bloodiest weekends where 63 people were shot and 10 killed.

Garry McCarthy. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

“Chicago murders are direct result of one party Democratic rule for decades. Policing genius Jerry McCarthy can do for Chicago what I did for NYC,” Giuliani wrote as part of a series of tweets, which he misspelled McCarthy’s name twice. “He was one of the architects of Compstat. Slashed homicides over 70%. Tens of thousands of lives saved.”

Giuliani’s endorsement tweets follow a particular right-wing trope that blames crime on Democrats and calls for a “tough on crime” political stance that usually winds up making marginalized people the target of heavy-handed policing while still starving communities of much needed resources.

“MAKE CHICAGO SAFE AGAIN!” Giuliani tweeted, borrowing from Trump’s campaign rhetoric. “He can do a lot better than Mayor Emmanuel who is fiddling while Chicago burns.”

McCarthy’s tenure as Police Superintendent in Chicago from 2011 to 2015 was mired in a series of high-profile shootings of people of color, scandals, and an increase in targeted surveillance of activists. Emanuel fired him in 2015 in the wake of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed by Chicago police.

While McCarthy has stated he’s a life-long Democrat, Chicago’s former top cop is running against Emanuel from the right, calling himself a “conservative Democrat” in a March interview with the Chicago Tribune. Prior to his formal announcement to run for mayor, McCarthy made rounds on local and national media where he blamed violence in Chicago on the debunked “Ferguson effect,” a right-wing talking point which blames increases in crime on activists fighting for police accountability.

McCarthy, however, has attempted to balance his conservatism while also criticising Emanuel for his penchant for giving financial handouts to corporations while starving neighborhoods of social services and other resources. On Friday, McCarthy criticized Emanuel for paying too much attention to national issues rather than local ones.

“He should be caring more about the African-American community that’s getting slaughtered in this city right now,” McCarthy said in an interview with Fox News. “And at the end of the day, what Rahm Emanuel does, he talks about global warming, climate change, he talks about the president, he weighs in on federal judges. At the end of the day, he’s not in charge of that. He’s in charge of gun violence, the economy and the education system here in Chicago, and he’s not paying attention to it.”

While McCarthy has yet to say anything specifically about Giuliani’s endorsement, he’s previously touted working with him when he was deputy commissioner of operations in the New York Police Department, highlighting their close relationship during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Giuliani also donated $5,600 to McCarthy’s campaign in January.

McCarthy also seized on the opportunity to tout his crime platform, and called for Emanuel to declare a “state of emergency.”

“Chicago, I am calling out Rahm to place our city in a state of emergency,” McCarthy tweeted. “We have a do-nothing Mayor who’d rather keep his corporate friends appeased and neglect our South and West side warzones.”

Push for Rent Control in Chicago Gaining Steam

A community coalition will submit more than 5,000 petitions in support of a referendum in three Chicago wards to lift a ban on rent control Monday afternoon. The Lift the Ban coalition, an umbrella group comprising 30 community organizations, says that the move shows growing “support of rent control and preserving affordable housing for all across Illinois.” Lift the Ban has been organizing to end a 21-year ban on rent control and implement statewide rent regulation.

“Having rent control is especially important for a neighborhood like Rogers Park that thrives on its diversity, and yet is also under threat from big developers,” said Carol Edelson, a 49th ward resident and member of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus in a press release. “We need a policy like rent control in this neighborhood because rising rents have meant many low income people, especially seniors, have been priced out and displaced.”

More than half of renters in Cook County pay more than they can afford. The coalition says North Side residents are seeing an increase in gentrification and population decreases due to the high cost of living, which has disproportionately affected communities of color. Lift the Ban says 75 percent of voters in the March primary election supported a ballot initiative in favor of rent control.

Woodlawn Residents Continue Fight to Save ‘Healing Village’

Woodlawn residents and community activists staged an overnight protest Sunday to attempt to stop Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran from evicting a ‘healing village’ they created on a vacant lot in the neighborhood. Activists say Cochran had a stop-work order placed on makeshift buildings in the lot over the weekend.

The coalition that built the village said they received permission from Cochran to construct it and stay through the fall, and that he went back on his word. Cochran denied this on Friday.

“This comes on the heels of a very violent weekend in Chicago,” said Alex Goldenberg of South Side Together Organizing for Power in a Monday morning press conference broadcast on Twitter. We now know that more than ever there’s a great need for mental health, healing, and building community with each other.”

The healing village was created to help residents deal with trauma and other mental health issues, particularly ones created by violence in the neighborhood.

Goldenberg said that Cochran planned to send bulldozers to the area Monday morning.

“We slept here overnight and are committed to being here and fighting to stop this eviction,” he said.

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