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 contest. With wealth, prestigious educational institutions and natural resources, Illinois should be looking forward to a more prosperous future and not losing congressional seats. Chica- go’s population has remained relatively flat since the last cen- sus, and Cook County on a whole has lost a small percentage. With the loss of population or no sustained growth, the tax base shrinks, available federal funding shrinks and overall the cost to live here gets higher. The ultimate question is whether the increase in crime has any bearing on the population loss, or at the least the failure to grow. Not an easy question to answer.
The advantages that allow Chicago to remain the third-larg- est city in the nation are indeed vast. World-class architecture, a thriving (though not always successful) sports culture, two world-class airports coupled with transportation and overall cultural offerings all combine to make Chicago competitive. However, our people — and most importantly our visitors and tourists — need to feel safe. The failure of our leadership to ac- complish this expected goal is rightfully being questioned. The failure to stop the hemorrhaging of officers who are fleeing the Chicago Police Department, the failure to support the officers doing a thankless job (I’m looking at you, COPA and the Police Board), are not going to right this ship. We simply cannot have continued violence and chaos, which have now migrated to downtown and Michigan Avenue.
The only way to curtail these numbers is to empower the Chi- cago Police Department. Our leaders need to support police, not villainize them. They need to let our officers go out and be law enforcement officers and get the bad actors without second guessing our every move. We have hit a tipping point, and one thing all should agree on is that the current strategy is not sus- tainable.

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