“Our city is in crisis”: The CEO of McDonald’s will not leave Chicago anytime soon, despite the “devastating effect” of widespread crime

In his speech to the Business Club of Chicago On Sept. 14, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kemczinski announced that the company will remain headquartered in Chicago despite it being a “crisis” city.

Kempczinski explained how skyrocketing crime, which is not new to many neighborhoods but is now “encroaching every corner of our city,” has impacted not only residents’ safety and job prospects, but also the company’s ability to recruit talent and to hold. “It’s harder for me today to convince a promising McDonald’s executive to move from one of our offices to Chicago than it was a few years ago.”

Staff have expressed safety concerns and a general “reluctance” to travel downtown on public transport amid a rise in violent crime and robberies. Not only the lack of confidence in the ability to come to work unscathed has changed in recent years.

“Every single person in this room has seen the corrosive effect crime can have on the city, its psyche and its citizens,” said Kempczinski. Companies are not only hurt, they are driven out. “The fact is that there are fewer large companies headquartered in Chicago this year than last year.”

The executive mentioned Chicago’s departures from Boeing to Virginia, Caterpillar to Texas and citadel to Florida. Although each of these big companies takes away thousands of jobs along with tax revenue, their departure may be the same in significance flood of smaller companies also left town.

Ken Griffin, the billionaire who runs the hedge fund firm Citadel, said this summer about his decision to leave Chicago: “If people are not safe here, they will not live here.” He suggested that some of his colleagues had been mugged at gunpoint and that one had been stabbed on his way to work.

Gary Rabine, founder of Rabine Group, told Fox News Digital, “We would do thousands of jobs around town every year, but as we got more and more robbed…it got expensive and it got dangerous.”

Rising crime not only exposed workers to risk, but also meant more expensive insurance and collateral for Rabine. These costs have been passed on to customers and, in the case of utilities, to taxpayers. Rabine blamed both Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whom he considers a “lousy leader,” and Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker (D).

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin (R) suggested that Pritzker “simply refuses to acknowledge what everyone sees, which is that his heavily taxed, criminal government is literally driving jobs and businesses out of state.”

Although obliged Doubling on Chicagothe McDonald’s board of directors acknowledged that “it has become increasingly difficult to operate a global business from the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.”

In addition to the violent crimes preventing corporate talent from joining his Chicago team, Kempczinski suggested that McDonald’s “sees homelessness issues” in the 400 restaurants it has in and around Chicago. “We have drug overdoses that happen in our restaurants.”

Noting his travels across America and the world, Kempczinski said, “Everywhere I go these days I’m confronted with the same question: What’s going on in Chicago?”

According to the Chicago Police Department, crime is up 38% so far this year from the same period last year. Since 9/11, Chicago has already seen:

  • 479 murders;
  • 1,437 sexual assaults;
  • 740 robberies;
  • 4,158 serious battery arrests;
  • 5,150 burglaries;
  • 13,395 thefts;
  • 10,992 vehicle thefts; and
  • 2,011 shootings.

Chicago has a rank of 10 on the Neighborhood Scout Crime Index (100 is the safest). For two points of comparison, Democrat Mayor London Breed’s San Francisco scores 4th on the Index while Republican Mayor Bob Dyer Virginia Beach has a score of 38.

The crisis in Chicago could soon worsen. On January 1, 2023, the “SAFE-T law‘ will come into effect, eliminating cash bail. Criminals charged with misdemeanors or non-violent crimes are released after their initial incarceration. This law, passed by the Democrats, was compared to the horror film series The Purge, which legalizes criminal activity for a set period of time.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/our-city-is-in-crisis-mcdonalds-ceo-wont-soon-abandon-chicago-despite-corrosive-effect-of-widespread-crime “Our city is in crisis”: The CEO of McDonald’s will not leave Chicago anytime soon, despite the “devastating effect” of widespread crime

Laura Coffey

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