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Fly the W: Why can't Chicago City Hall be more like the Cubs?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 19/10/2015 Hilary Gowins

It takes grit and endurance to make it in Chicago.
It also takes hope. That's what the Chicago Cubs are giving their city.
They've showed Chicago that it's possible to change a losing culture. For as long as anyone can remember, the Cubs have been a laggard franchise used to scraping the bottom of the National League rankings. But with a new manager and a talented young lineup, the team has energy. Manager Joe Maddon has instilled an expectation of winning in the dugout.
And it's catching on. Chicagoans are emanating a palpable sense of hope and unity. People walk down Clark Street in Jake Arrieta and Kris Bryant jerseys. Strangers shout "Go Cubs" to each other as they walk to work in the Loop. Diners at restaurants across the city break bread with the TV on at the bar, enjoying a meal and cheering in unison for the lovable losers that just might have a shot at greatness.
But as the North Siders square off against the New York Mets for the National League pennant, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is poised to deliver a crushing blow.
His timing couldn't be worse.
While the Cubs have changed their destiny, Emanuel wants more of the same for Chicago. He's pushing for City Council to vote in the largest tax hike in modern Chicago history Oct. 28, the same day as Game 2 of the World Series - a game in which the Cubs could be playing, if they can come back from a two-game deficit against the Mets. The mayor's tax hike includes a $588 million property-tax hike, a new $9.50-per-month garbage-collection fee, a $0.50-per-ride fee for Uber and other ridesharing services and more payment increases on residents.
Worst of all, it won't even be enough to balance the city's books in the long term.
The mayor and aldermen who run the city are scraping for money wherever they can find it, as the city of Chicago is facing more than $33 billion in debt.
Raising tax revenues on the back of a booming economy is one thing, but Chicago is not the Midwestern titan it once was. People are starting to feel the pain. Fewer than 1 in 5 Chicagoans think the city's economy is becoming more prosperous.
Chicago is also the slowest-growing major city in the country. Houston is poised to overtake Chicago as the third-largest city in the U.S. by as soon as 2030.
After years of pain on the field and in the city's 1 million households, it's time for a reason to cheer. For countless Cubs fans on the North Side and across the city, a pennant and a World Series title would be the renewal of a promise that "next year" might bring something better. Victory would be the culmination of a lifetime of cheering for the lovable losers; not just the lifetimes of today's Chicagoans, but those of their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers as well, who remained blindly faithful that better days were ahead, despite a dry spell dating back to 1908.
Even down 0-2 to start their series against the Mets, nothing is impossible: In 2004, the Boston Red Sox, another long-beleaguered team, came back from an 0-3 deficit to capture their first World Series championship since 1918.
But say the Cubs do fight their way back, bringing a World Series trophy to Wrigleyville in 2015. What then? After fans dry tears of joy from their eyes? After all the confetti is swept off of Clark Street? After the 107-year itch is scratched?

A World Series ring doesn't mean much on a begging hand. The city's economy will continue sputtering under the weight of red tape, along with a tax-and-spend status quo at City Hall.
The biggest tax hike in a century shouldn't overshadow the city's biggest sporting event in 100 years. It's about time politicians were brave enough to hit reset like the city's beloved Cubs and give struggling residents the wide-eyed hope of October baseball outside the diamond.
Chicago needs a win.

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