A rash of violence and lawlessness has gripped major cities across the country. By one tally, a dozen major U.S. cities by early December had broken their annual records for homicides.

Chicago will not set a record this year. The city’s highest-ever death toll — 970 homicides in 1974 — will likely remain intact. Even so, Chicago tops the nation in violent deaths so far in 2021. Homicides in the city have topped 780, according to city data, and are up nearly 60% from 2019, the year before the current national wave of urban violence began.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot took the data — and the loss of life — into account when she stepped before a microphone at Garfield Park on Monday to lay out her latest plan to stem the tide. She broke the challenge down into categories: the plague of guns, the release of people accused of violent crime under electronic monitoring by the Cook County courts, the lure and power of street gangs, and the curse of poverty that creates conditions for crime.

If it all sounds familiar, that’s because Lightfoot has tallied these troubles before. Unfortunately, the responses she proposed bore an air of familiarity.

Read more at chicagotribune.com.

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.