Suburban State Rep. Blames Chicago Violence On ‘Cultural Problem’ | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

State Rep. From Wheaton Blames Chicago Violence On A ‘Breakdown Of Family Structure’

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s potential primary challenger said Chicago’s violence problems are the city’s to solve on its own.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Republican from Wheaton, told WBEZ’s Morning Shift on Thursday that the city’s unrelenting homicide counts are the direct result of a “cultural problem.”

In Chicago’s most crime-prone neighborhoods, there is a “breakdown of family structure,” namely a glut of absentee fathers who normally would be expected to instill discipline in their children, she said.

“That permeates all the other problems and creates all the chaos that you have,” Ives said.

The conservative said investing more money in Chicago’s schools or imposing harsher gun restrictions won’t correct a problem that sets the city apart from nearly everywhere else in Illinois.

“Chicago has Chicago problems,” she said. “I can tell you the level of violence and the lack of education is not happening in many other poor communities and rural communities in the state of Illinois. They’re not.”

Chicago police on Wednesday announced 53 murders during the month of October, compared to 80 last year. That brings the total number of killings in 2017 to 570, down from the 10-month total of 630 last year at this time, police said. All told in 2016, police reported 700 people murdered in the city.

Ives — who has clashed with Rauner over his support of public-funded abortions, immigrant rights, and a school-funding overhaul he signed into law — is circulating petitions to challenge the governor in the March 20 Republican primary. She has until Dec. 4 to submit nominating petitions to the State Board of Elections.

Dave McKinney covers state politics for WBEZ. You can follow him at @davemckinney.

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