First, let me express my concern for the Skokie woman who was attacked while unpacking her groceries at her home and hope that she finds her way toward a successful and speedy recovery.
For more than three years, since I was a Skokie Village commissioner, I have been attempting to dialogue with village officials on crime. First as an individual, and then through the work of Skokie Voice. In June 2010, Skokie Voice organized a town hall meeting where more than 500 people attended. Many spoke to their concerns about crime. Even this public expression of concern seems to have made no impact on the dismissive attitude of village officials. This is one of the reasons why I am running for Village Trustee in April.
After the 2009 National Citizen Survey results were released, the village officials said that residents were satisfied with Skokie, ignoring the comments where a substantial amount of respondents stated that they did not feel safe walking in their neighborhoods. The 2012 National Citizen Survey results just released, indicate an increase in the number of residents who don't feel safe walking in their neighborhoods.
Despite specific data, indicating that certain types of crime have significantly increased, village officials continue to maintain that "overall" crime is down. The Village officials maintain that there is no real crime problem in Skokie. Attacks, like the latest one which took place at noon, in broad daylight not far from the business district on West Dempster Street, are typically described as isolated incidents and crimes of opportunity.
Village officials have also publicly stated that increased crime is only "the perception of some." Recent violence, along with my neighbors front windows being shot through with bullet holes is clearly more than "the perception of some.
Done; Enough; Fini. We need to show the thugs in Skokie and those who find Skokie an easy target to attack, that we are not the "Wild West" and we aren't going to take it anymore.
We have to build a reputation in Skokie where criminals know – you don't do it here. I worked with prisoners in Arizona. When I would ask the inmates why they did what they did, I was told "because we can." I want to work to make Skokie a place where they can't! I want to make it so the criminals know there's a new game in town – where the outcome is: we win, they lose.
I have spent considerable time over the last few years trying to work with village officials to make Skokie a safer community. But, they refuse to make crime a priority or even acknowledge the problem; to the victims of crime it is not a "perception."
I've been honored to call Skokie home for over 22 years. My husband and I have raised our children here, in the house he grew up in since 1960. The foundation of our family is rooted in Skokie. I appreciate all of the unique characteristics and the shared values of our community. That's why I care about what happens in our village; why I feel so deeply about issues that have to be addressed, and why I want to serve the people of Skokie.
As a Skokie Trustee, I'll make reducing crime a priority, and work with residents and officials to find ways to make Skokie the safe community that many of us remember.
For more information: www.lipinfortrustee.com