Stay, Ken Griffin, and invest in the people here

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Griffin has invested his philanthropic dollars in buildings, he has bought record-breaking real estate for his personal living. Nothing like a good property in major cities. And he has invested in the study of crime statistics and study at the University of Chicago. What has it produced? We need to move from study to solutions to the practicum. Black men will stop the crime in Chicago. Latino men will stop Chicago’s crime.

Griffin favors museums with major contributions. The Museum of Science & Industry will take his name soon. At the request of former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, he invested in the beautiful lakefront trail along the Chicago lakefront. And, indeed, it added a delight to those of us who walk and bike the lakefront, as we enjoy the most beautiful skyline in the world.

But, what about the people? What about a human investment, Mr. Griffin? With your riches and resources, a people investment could make a difference in Chicago.

What about taking the homeless and placing them in the schools that Rahm closed in mostly Black neighborhoods? The schools could be turned into dorm/hotel-like living. What about cultural arts being taught in the public schools as well as nutrition? Nutrition produces healthy living and reduces the weight of the youth. And the cultural arts bring forth talent to be developed and exercised for positive living. Black ministers are overloaded in their churches as they develop social programs for their communities—programs like teaching computer literacy, sports and food pantries. These programs are not necessarily the mission of the church, supported by their parishioners. They could use a boost.

And then, there are the small theater companies throughout the city that could use funding to sponsor their productions, where real talent lives. And then, what about the Black press/community press fund that could spark coverage as social media transcends the world?

And, Mr. Griffin, did you know on the West Side of Chicago, there is no grocery store? This is absolutely amazing. How about ensuring each and every community have access to fresh fruit and vegetables?

All of the above are mere suggestions of how major investments to the human stock would benefit the city. The crime would stop because the perpetrators would have something to do, a career to look forward to, training for a job. The quality of life would improve. You probably won’t carjack if you could afford to buy a car.

Mr. Griffin, all due respect, stop giving your money to politicians. What did $37 million to Bruce Rauner render? Rich people should pay more taxes on their wealth. Period. You are throwing good money after bad. Contribute to the human cause that will make Chicago a better place. You could lead the pack in a new way of investing in human resources, social capital. Refinance the people. So many have been exploited along the way and still suffer from the past negative behavior, like discrimination, redlining and racism. You could start a new trend. If you still decided to leave Chicago, have a meeting with some of the people you probably don’t know in Chicago, to get another perspective.

Don’t go, Mr. Griffin. Stay and help to turn the tide.

Hermene Hartman is publisher of N’Digo and N’Digo Studio.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

October 11, 2021 at 05:56PM

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