Side Note

How do you fix a broken city?

“Chicago continues to be the most corrupt city in the country,” begins a paper titled “Continuing corruption in Illinois.” The paper, written by members of the University of Chicago’s Political Science department, goes on to state that “Few city agencies or state government offices have been free of scandal” and that “public corruption in Chicago has been endemic to the city’s and the state’s political culture for more than 150 years.”

Obviously, that’s not good, and the paper’s authors would like to do something about making Chicago less corrupt. They offer seven potential reforms that could fix Chicago, which seem like they could apply to pretty much anywhere in America. They are as follows:

1) Public funding of political campaigns
2) A fair remapping of all legislative districts
3) Increased citizen participation in elections and government
4) Strengthening inspector generals and creating a Suburban Inspector General
5) Fundamental changes in police departments and correction facilities across the State
6) Preventing public officials from representing individuals and corporations for profit before other units of governments
7) Making public information easily available in more useable forms on the Internet

These might not add up to full-on revolution, but hey, they’re a start.