Science is the secret to fighting public health emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught this lesson. And the theory behind Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s push to stop the surge of violence in the city is based on fighting it with tactics similar to some that worked in the effort to stop the coronavirus.

Lightfoot calls her latest strategy a “whole-of-government” approach to fighting crime. In truth, “whole of city” may be more accurate.

Lightfoot vividly made her whole-of-government point in a May news conference in the Chatham neighborhood. Surrounded by department heads and leaders of faith-based groups and community organizations, Lightfoot said they were “bringing everyone to the table” in the crime-fighting effort.

The idea is to focus on the 15 communities Lightfoot named in her “Our City, Our Safety” plan, starting with West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Little Village and Englewood.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.