President Donald Trump’s threat to “send in the Feds” may have riled Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Democrats, but let’s analyze the Chief Executive’s plan and its long-term impact on urban renewal and real estate values.
First, Chicagoans have to look at the fact in 2017 there already has been 42 gang killings in the Windy City in 228 shootings. That’s a 24 percent increase in murders compared with January of 2016. Last year, a record 4,300 people were shot, and 762 were killed, according to official Police Department statistics.
Maybe it isn’t a crazy idea to compare Chicago’s gang-banger killing spree to Mideast terrorism and approach it like combating Isis in Iraq. Perhaps we should declare martial law, welcome federal troops to Chicago, and tell them to bring plenty of body armor, assault weapons, armored vehicles, tanks and tactical air support.
One South Side alderman predicted a “blood bath” on Chicago streets if the National Guard is sent into neighborhoods as an occupying force.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the National Guard is “not trained for this type of action.” Even though police ranks have been thinned by retirement and more than 1,000 new cops are needed, federal policing action isn’t necessary, city officials say.
What is going on in the streets really is urban civil war, veteran neighborhood watchers say. The South and West sides of Chicago have become uncontrollable urban combat zones. Gang bangers may be bad shots, but these urban guerrilla fighters (a.k.a. terrorists) have hundreds of automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo. For wheels, they boldly highjack brand new automobiles off of car-dealer lots.
Some of the older bad guys may even be former U.S. Army vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. These combat vets are qualified to operate 50-caliber machine guns, bazookas, and maybe even drive tanks and fly helicopters.
It also might be a good idea for the federal commanders to do background checks on National Guard troops before they order them here, because some of the men volunteering for duty might be former members of Gangster Disciples or Vice Lords.
So, if President Trump sends in federal troops they will have a fight on their hands, and likely need a detailed “Presidential Urban Terrorist Battle Plan” to occupy “Chirac,” Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, for months, maybe years.
Trump’s critics at the Chicago Tribune say “his most creative talent is the construction and sale of myths.” Trump is an expert at “peddling a vison and a plan of action—but on a scale so grand it stretches from ambitious to ludicrous,” according to a recent editorial.
Focusing on the Urban Terrorist Battle Plan, the President must inherently know there eventually will be great future real estate development opportunities in Chicago’s South and West sides’ combat zones, once they are neutralized and officially named “Trump Urban Renewal Districts.”
Mayor Emanuel is offering more than 20,000 vacant urban lots for sale in the inner city for an affordable price of $1 each, plus closing costs of $56 per lot. If President Trump orders Uncle Sam to buy all the vacant lots in a sweeping investment deal it would cost only $1.14 million, a drop in the federal deficit bucket.
The Urban Terrorist Battle Plan could call for the federal government to take title to these lots to provide grass-roots military bases for the National Guard troops close to the combat zones. Studying a detailed history of the Viet Nam War will provide an outline on how to proceed.
Of course, large sections of Englewood and Austin and other gang (urban-terrorist) infested neighborhoods would have to be renamed “Trumpville District I” and “Trumpville District II,” with the appropriate silver Trump signage. After the war these newly neutralized and “carnage-free” former gang-banger neighborhoods should be well be on their way to “Trumpification.”
Initially, the occupying federal troops will have to live in fox holes and tents behind hastily erected cyclone and barbed-wire fencing. Mine fields would have to be constructed to guard against night-time infiltrators.
However, within a week, excavation can be started for long-term barracks—or bomb-proof concrete pill boxes—complete with sanitary sewers, water lines and plumbing, electric and cable service, and bulletproof windows.
Trumpification will create an urban construction boom, spark job-training for minority building tradesmen and architects. And, the Chicago Building Department will be busy issuing hundreds of building permits for thousands of units.
The classic 3-story Chicago “Trump Pill-Box” design could call for about 1,200 square feet per floor with the command headquarters (galley kitchen, recreation room, and Jacuzzi-equipped spa room) on the garden level below-grade. A roof top deck, complete with battlements, could be utilized for observation and sniping.
The 2-bedroom, 2-bath design would fit nicely on a typical 25-by-125 foot vacant city lot with plenty of room for a 2-car (Jeep or armored personnel-carrier) garage. Using bunk beds, each pill box could sleep 24 National Guardsmen.
After the war on urban terrorism is won, President Trump will issue an executive order for these properties to be converted to affordable 3-flat urban-renewal condominiums or Section 8 rental–assisted apartments by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Now for the battle plan. Before the National Guard is sent in, President Trump should offer amnesty to all gang bangers who are willing to turn in their guns.
Once the boots are on the ground, the National Guard can set up check points and road blocks at gang-turf borders to stop vehicles and confront the enemy.
The troops also will go block-to-block and house-to-house searching for illegal weapons and arrest wanted felons. With martial law in effect, there will be no issues about “stop and frisk.” Metal detectors will be used to spot weapons. Tens of thousands of illegal guns will be taken off the streets.
Troops will utilize infra-red cameras to seek out pedestrian infiltrators moving about at night after the dusk-to-dawn curfew. Anyone caught outside after curfew would be subject to military arrest, or worse.
When the war of urban terrorism is over, President Trump will declare amnesty and order billions of dollars in federal aid to Chicago:
• Social Services. The Dept. of Health and Human Services will greatly expand federal social services aid to Chicago’s poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods.
• Education. The Dept. of Education will provide massive new resources to increase educational effectiveness and improve school safety in the inner city.
• Jobs. The Dept. of Labor will offer job training, consulting and placement services. Sale of marijuana will be legalized for recreational and medical use. Reformed gang bangers would be offered job training as cannabis sales specialists. Based at corner kiosks and storefront shops in Trump Urban Renewal Districts, the professional marijuana marketers will only handle credit-card transactions—no cash.
Legal marijuana sales will be heavily taxed, and tens millions of dollars will flow into Chicago’s coffers to help Mayor Emanuel pay for city services, thus dramatically lowering real estate taxes.
Mayor Emanuel could then build that long-awaited casino on the vacant former Michael Reese Hospital site just south of McCormick Place. Hundreds of urban casino jobs could be created and millions of dollars in tax revenue could be generated.
Wake up Chicagoans! The Trump Urban Renewal Plan really is a marijuana pipe dream. You’ve been Trumped again.
For more housing news, visit www.dondebat.biz. Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit www.escapingcondojail.com.