Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday)



City officials wrong to blame bail reform for increasing gun violence

Despite decades of claims from city officials and the Chicago Police Department that more policing and aggressive imprisonme­nt will help curb gun violence, the evidence has continuall­y shown the opposite. To see Police Supt. David Brown fall back on a long-standing contention that bond reform is somehow to blame is incredibly disappoint­ing.

Chicago’s crime rates have fallen since 2014. Over the same period, fewer people have been incarcerat­ed in Cook County Jail, which has saved taxpayers millions of dollars and avoided the unnecessar­y trauma caused by pretrial incarcerat­ion. There is simply no evidence that bond reform has caused crime. Bond reform has been immensely successful in beginning to restore equity to our courts and strengthen our communitie­s.

Judges should not have the power to hold poor people in jail simply for being poor.

Brown is right about one thing: The best way to stop violence is to prevent it in the first place. Yet community-based antiviolen­ce groups last year received only $9 million of the $50 million in funding they needed. We must invest in our communitie­s and fully fund neighborho­od-driven anti-violence and anti-poverty programs.

Public officials fail when they actively ignore the facts and fail to call for proven solutions to the problem of gun violence. CPD’s budget for 2020 is more than $1.7 billion; there is clearly plenty of money available to help our communitie­s heal. The city must prioritize anti-violence work in Chicago and focus on investing in neighborho­ods instead of overfundin­g police and jails.

Sarah Staudt, senior policy analyst and staff attorney,

Chicago Appleseed

The Blackhawks’ name is no slur

Would someone please explain why there is a movement to have the Chicago Blackhawks’ name changed and logo removed?

It has always been near the top of the list of most recognizab­le team symbols ever, often voted the most iconic. Not only does it not embody negative stereotype­s, it actually features a Native American in full headdress, which denotes strength, power and leadership.

Where will this political nonsense end?

Stuart Rudy, Northbrook

The president’s critical job duties

According to the White House, the president does not read his daily briefing on foreign affairs supplied by intelligen­ce agencies.

As a retired federal employee, I find this fairly amazing. I have reflected on how much time I spent reading memorandum­s, instructio­ns and handbooks. Much of this reading matter was not particular­ly interestin­g, but doing so was a duty relevant to my position and performanc­e.

Had I ever failed to correctly perform my duties, I could not inform my supervisor that I had just decided not to read. I might be able to claim that I was occupied with assignment­s or meeting deadlines, and may have missed seeing something, but that was about the only excuse for negligence.

Every federal position has four or five “critical elements.” Failing to perform any of them can result in discipline — specifical­ly, a performanc­e-based removal action.

For the president, reading his daily briefing qualifies as a critical task.

Charles Paidock, Bridgeport

Send letters to: Please include your neighborho­od or hometown and a phone number for verificati­on purposes.

 ?? TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES ?? Chicago police help direct traffic around a crime scene last summer in the Lawndale neighborho­od.
TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES Chicago police help direct traffic around a crime scene last summer in the Lawndale neighborho­od.

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