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Downstate legislators see Chicago crime impacting tourism

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(The Center Square) – Just months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker boasted the city’s tourism industry is back, a new Harris Poll finds almost half of Cook County residents insist they don’t feel safe visiting downtown Chicago.

The poll also finds that 7 of 10 Cook County residents think the city should be investing in more public safety initiatives.

State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, said the poll almost read his mind.

“I know I had the opportunity to go to some meetings in Chicago … and I didn’t want to go because you don’t feel safe,” Miller told The Center Square. “A lot of these crimes are happening in broad daylight. It’s not like they’re doing it under the cover of darkness. The Magnificent Mile and different places like that are shown to be unsafe just because of the crime being committed there in broad daylight.”

With robberies and vehicle thefts up in recent times, Miller left no doubt about what he sees as the root of much of the trouble.

“To me the biggest problem is when you think about Mayor [Brandon] Johnson, Kim Foxx, Jim Durkin and people like that, none of them want to take ownership for any of this stuff and all they want to do is blame others for their failures,” he added. “Also, J.B. Pritzker needs to be thrown into the mix with the SAFE-T Act and the thousands of illegals and all the things that they’ve done to perpetrate the crime problem in Chicago.”

Making the situation all the more maddening, Miller said he doesn’t see anyone in Springfield taking the lead in making the kind of changes he feels need to be made.

“I don’t think hardly anything is being done when you look at some of the bad public policies,” he added. “The first plank is to establish justice and when there is no justice there’s lawlessness and what we see happening in the city of Chicago is lawlessness because crime is not being punished. The criminal is the victim. It’s very true people don’t feel safe in the city of Chicago.”

In the end, Miller said what’s happening in downtown Chicago is to be expected given what those in elected office are allowing.

“If people don’t feel like they’re going to be safe … it’s like don’t go there, it’s dangerous. It’s common sense,” he said. “There’s just a real lack of any justice. They’re changing the rules where things that used to be criminal are no longer associated with criminality.”

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