I love Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s plan to get rid of all the unincorporated land in the county.
But I'm afraid it doesn’t go far enough. We need to start getting rid of some suburbs, too. Illinois has more municipalities than it can afford. Here’s a list of over a dozen suburbs that have no practical reason for existing, and should be absorbed into the city of Chicago.
CICERO: The looting grounds of Betty Loren-Maltese, Ed Vrdolyak and Larry Dominick, Cicero is the only suburb that would become less corrupt by joining Chicago.
NORRIDGE: Completely surrounded by, and indistinguishable from, the Northwest Side of Chicago. A philosophical question: is Norwood Park a suburb masquerading as part of the city, or is Norridge a part of the city masquerading as a suburb.
EVANSTON: The suburb that likes to pretend it’s not really a suburb, in the same way that, say, Vernon Hills and Rolling Meadows are. You’re on an L line, you might as well be in the city.
OAK PARK: See Evanston.
LINCOLNWOOD: Until a few years ago, Lincolnwood addresses had zip codes beginning with 606. That’s a town that’s never developed its own identity.
WILMETTE: So Rahm Emanuel can say he grew up in Chicago.
HAMMOND: I know it’s in Indiana, but it’s every bit as ugly and industrial as Chicago, so it belongs with us.
RIVERDALE: So residents can stop answering the question, “Are you from the suburb of Riverdale or the Chicago neighborhood of Riverdale?”
DOLTON: Pronouncing it “Dalton” makes no sense. So let’s just get rid of it.
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, EAST CHICAGO, WEST CHICAGO, NORTH CHICAGO: You want to use our name, you have to pay taxes to our treasury.
ROSEMONT: A suburb created to provide lifetime employment to members of the Stephens family. Chicago shouldn’t have to be connected to O’Hare like West Germany was to West Berlin.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!