A survey of 25 mayors, from deep-red pockets of the South to liberal flagships in the West, found that crime was one of the major issues they are facing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Politico reports. Asked about the biggest issue or agenda item that got lost during the pandemic, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said, “Reducing violent crime. We have seen staggering increases in violent crime in Kansas City — last year, there were nearly 8,000 incidents of violent crime (a 10 percent increase from the previous year). And for each incident, there are ripples throughout our community that harm all of us.” One-third of the mayors who responded to the survey volunteered that shootings or violent crime were among their top concerns.
What keeps mayors up at night? St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said, “Quite literally, itʼs the gunshots that my son and I hear when we go to bed. I am the first mayor in two decades to be born, raised, and still live on the North side of the City of St. Louis, where decades of intentional, racialized disinvestment allowed the drivers of crime — poverty, housing instability, and the like — to fester.” Chattanooga's Tim Kelly said, "I worry that our most vulnerable young people, flooded with easy access to guns and without direction or hope, will continue to shoot and kill each other in sickening numbers.” Louisville's Greg Fischer says his city “is experiencing an unacceptable increase in gun violence, a challenge weʼre addressing with a whole-of-government approach that goes beyond law enforcement to include community mobilization, prevention, intervention, organizational change & development, and reentry. We are investing in each area and quadrupling our investment in violence prevention to address the root causes of violence and create opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential.”