The mayor also makes his case by comparing Chicago’s crime numbers over the last two years with those of . . . Baltimore. Not New York. Not Los Angeles. But Baltimore—one of America’s most dangerous, crime-ridden cities. It’s no accident that Emanuel chose this comparison, instead of putting Chicago up against New York and Los Angeles—the Windy City had more murders than New York and L.A. combined last year, though it is the smallest of the three cities.
Beating out Baltimore in crime reduction is not exactly a coup. And make no mistake: while Chicago benefits from a densely populated North Side with low crime numbers, areas on the city’s South and West Sides don’t look so different from Baltimore when it comes to aggregate population and crime numbers. The neighborhoods in which Chicago’s serious violent crime is concentrated are among the worst in the nation.
This is akin to John Lindsay telling voters in 1969 that sure, New York is bad, but hey, it could always be Newark, you know.