I challenge any one of the candidates who are seriously thinking about taking Mayor Daley's place to spend some time watching the street below Wanda Askew's window.
Askew lives in the 7100 block of South King Drive. On Saturday morning, around 7 a.m., she heard a young woman screaming from the street below.
"The young lady appeared to be on some type of drugs. I watched her for 30 minutes. I tried to talk to her. Every time the light would turn green, she would jump off the corner into traffic. A truck almost took out the corner trying to avoid hitting her."
Askew said she called 911.
"Twenty-two minutes passed. Nobody came. I called back and told the dispatcher that I pay taxes, too. Somebody is going to get hurt, or she is going to get herself killed. Another 15 minutes went by before a police van pulled up," she continued.
"I met them downstairs. By then, she had been out there for an hour, and it looked to me like she needed medical assistance."
Askew said a black police officer showed up, and said to her: "You the one who called and said you pay taxes? You need to call Mayor Daley. This is not a priority call. We are getting shot at, and we are understaffed," Askew said the officer told her.
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Askew said.
"I told him: 'You still pick up your check, don't you? You knew all that when you filled out the application. If you don't like your job, get another job."
It doesn't matter if you pay taxes or not. No one is coming in a hurry to see about a mental dope addict walking in traffic unless they happen to get run over, and even then, chances are we'll just meet the ambulance at the hospital later. That's what Mayor Daley has wrought. That's what 100 years of one party rule have left in Chicago.
Oh, and Ms. Askew? When we signed up for the job, we also expected the support of the community, equipment that worked and a decent amount of backup should the need arise. Guess how much of that we're getting? Especially in places like 71st and King Drive.