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CHICAGO- On the 96th day of his 100-day rooftop vigil to raise funds for a transformative community center on Chicago’s South Side, Pastor Corey Brooks invited Bill O’Kane, CEO of Fox Group Management, to the rooftop for a conversation. large scope. . O’Kane manages rental properties throughout Chicago, giving him unique insight into diverse neighborhoods and what is needed to raise living standards. Two of its main conclusions are that these communities need security and employment to progress.
“What brings you to that rooftop tonight on the south side of Chicago?” began the pastor.
“Because I want to help. So if I have to help, I want to make sure my efforts are effective,” O’Kane replied.
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“Youth is the most important thing to me. So many kids don’t have a chance. The daddy isn’t in the picture and the schools don’t work. They just don’t work. Public schools don’t work not. So the wife and I have been helping private schools and Christian schools. I think the good ones are the most important things for America,” O’Kane said. “I would really like to see that become the law from the country.”
“It must be in Chicago,” the pastor said, agreeing. “It has to be in the state of Illinois. It’s one of the ways we can lift some of these kids out of poverty and hopefully keep some of them out of gangs in their giving an education… From your perspective explaining to people what needs to change if we’re going to get these kids out of the gangs and change this neighborhood like this, what do you think it’s going to take?”
“There needs to be a culture change. Again, with kids, they need to be rewarded for doing well, which I don’t believe is happening right now,” O’Kane said. “Crime is spiraling out of control. We need more business in the city like before. In the past it was better. Businesses, I think they don’t want to be here because of the crime and taxes. Taxes are out of control, and they’re getting worse. So why is anyone gonna come here…and pay Illinois state income tax, and Florida is zero, Texas is zero. A lot of states are zero. You have to motivate people, right?”
“Kids need to be motivated and rewarded.”
“And you punish bad behavior.”
“Without a doubt,” said the past. “That’s why I’ve said in previous rooftop reveals, how people would come up to me and say, ‘You just want to throw more black people in jail. And I’m like, ‘Listen. It’s not about being black or white. It’s about being a criminal.’ If you are a criminal, you must go to jail, regardless of your color. You’re a successful businessman, and one of the things you said was about the need for businesses. Why is this so important? , especially for this area that we’re in, in West Woodlawn? It is a poor area, plagued by crime. Why is it important that we create businesses here? »
“I think for someone to have dignity, they have to do something productive. Whether it’s a job, a coach or a volunteer, you have to be productive to have dignity,” O’Kane said. . “What is life without dignity?”
“Work brings dignity.”
“You can be proud of your work. It’s not bad pride to do a good job,” O’Kane added. “We talked about education in prison. I mean, I’ve been saying this for decades, I believe in education, not incarceration.”
“I want these criminals to go get jobs and be taxpayers.”
“That’s what Project HOOD is all about. That’s why we’re trying to turn a lot of these guys who are in gangs, to help them change their hearts, their minds, their lives. Get them redirected,” said said the pastor. noted. “When you look at the reach of Chicago, as a business person, how is all this violence hurting your business?”
“People are scared. I’m in real estate. We rent apartments. We’re in pretty much every good neighborhood. a high-end building, there’s a few carjackings there. People don’t want to put up with that. And why should they?” O’Kane asked.
“I also know that some of these areas are now experiencing violence that has spread” from the poorer areas, the pastor said.
“There are always spillovers,” O’Kane replied. “We have to be pro-police. There will always be a few bad guys. Every job, everything you do, there’s always a percent or two—”
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“Bad pastors, bad landlords. There are always a few.”
“But at least with the owners, we’re motivated to make money. Usually you have to deliver a good product,” O’Kane said. “We compete with each other because you want the company. It’s kind of a self-policing effort, you know?
“I think you’re right. We need to support our police, we need to hold our politicians to account, we need to eliminate crime and we need to do much better with education.”
Follow us as Fox News checks in on Pastor Corey Brooks every day with a new rooftop revelation.
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Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is “What Killed Michael Brown?” Twitter: @Hebro_Steele.
Camera by Terrell Allen.