It's no secret that poverty and crime are two of the most prominent issues in the city of Chicago Heights, and a question posed to Patch readers two days ago allowed residents to voice their opinions on how to solve those problems.
We asked readers to tell us how they would like to see the city improved in 2013. Many of the responses involved removing Section 8 and bringing in major retailers, but one of the larger issues talked about was education.
One reader, Edward Husker, said some of the city's other problems could perhaps be traced back to a flawed public school system.
"How about the city trying to help the local public schools?" Husker asked. "If the problems can be fixed there, maybe other criminal problems could disappear from the city."
Other commenters echoed Husker, but said improving education can only be done by improving the staffs within the school districts.
Another reader, Mark, was frank in his response, telling Chicago Heights to look forward instead of backward:
I think the good citizens of Chicago Heights should resolve to stop living in the past and move on. For example, admit that you lost the race for big box stores to Homewood and Matteson and try to figure out what you are going to do without them now that the big-box boom days are over. Stop longing for a return to the '50s and before and try to figure out how to make this town work in the 21st century. Stop blaming your problems on "tenants" or even "section 8" and recognize that without an educated population quality of life cannot be improved. Begin to improve both our personal quality of life and that of the community by opening our mind and filling it with new skills.
Once again, it seems the issues are traced back to education. So, maybe the real question is: How do we improve that? Do you think the public schools in Chicago Heights are failing, or is the responsibility of the parents being ignored?
Let us know in the comments below.
Stay informed about what's going on in Chicago Heights:
- Sign up for Chicago Heights Patch news alerts.
- Like Chicago Heights Patch on Facebook!
- Have something to say? Join Patch with a free user account.