Almost All of America’s Failed Cities are Democrat Cities

That includes 42 of the top 43 centers of violent crime.

[John Perazzo is the author of Betrayal: The Democratic Party’s Destruction of America’s Cities and also of the Freedom Center's new investigative report: BLACK LIVES MATTER: Marxist Hate Dressed Up As Racial Justice.]

As Marxist and anarchist radicals continue to turn Democrat-run American cities into war zones, Democrats assure us that they alone understand how the current crisis can be resolved. White House hopeful Joe Biden, for example, vows that “as President,” he “will help lead” a national “conversation” about racial justice, “and more importantly,” he “will listen” to the “anguish” of the long-forgotten “little guy.”[1]

Biden’s “little guy” narrative blends seamlessly with one of the most widely accepted claims in American political discourse today: the notion that the Democratic Party is the party that fights on behalf of the common man. We are told that Democrats in public office advocate for a wide range of policies that would improve the lives of the poorest and most powerless among us.

With regard to crime, for instance, the Democratic Party Platform declares that we need to: end the “mass incarceration” that allegedly targets nonwhite minorities; “invest more in jobs and education” than in jails; eliminate mandatory minimum sentences; “close private prisons and detention centers”; “eliminat[e] the use of cash bail” because “no one should be imprisoned merely for failing to pay fines or fees”; and “abolish the death penalty, which has proven to be a cruel and unusual form of punishment.”[2]

Regarding economic matters, the official Democratic Party Platform explicitly pledges to promote “shared prosperity” by: “rais[ing] wages for working people,” “ending poverty” in “underserved communities,” and implementing “a comprehensive agenda to invest in America’s cities.”[3]

But in city after city where Democrats already have been in charge politically for an extended period of time, we find exceedingly high—indeed, often colossal—levels of crime and poverty that degrade the quality of life for the people who reside there. And the longer Democrats have dominated the politics of those cities, the worse the conditions tend to be. In short, Democrats have transformed a host of once-great metropolises into urban prisons where the “little guy”particularly the black and Hispanic “little guy” on whose behalf Democrats typically claim to speakhas been grievously harmed by one destructive Democratic policy after another.

The Most Dangerous Cities in America

Let us first examine the political leadership of the most dangerous American cities, large and small alike. “Danger,” for purposes of this analysis, is defined in terms of the number of violent crimes committed per 1,000 residents. Four categories of violent crime are included in these calculations: homicide, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. The statistics regarding the incidence of each of these crimes in each city were derived from FBI records and were published in 2019 by the custom analytics website NeighborhoodScout.com.[4]

The following chart shows the 50 cities that have the highest violent crime rates in the United States and: (a) have a population of 25,000 or more; (b) are governed by mayors who are clearly identifiable as either Democrats or Republicans;[5] and (c) have either a “Mayor-Council” (MC) form of government, a “Council-Manager” (CM) form of government, or a Hybrid (HYB) of the two.[6]  Of those 50 cities, 46 are governed by Democratic mayors and administrations; only 4 are governed by Republicans. Moreover, 42 of the top 43 are governed by Democrats.
 

 

Rank

Cities with Populations of 25,000+

Population[7]

Type of Govt.

Violent Crimes/ 1,000

Mayor’s Party

1

Detroit, MI

672,829

MC

20.0

Democratic

2

Memphis, TN

652,752

MC

19.5

Democratic

3

Birmingham, AL

209,403

MC

19.3

Democratic

4

Baltimore, MD

614,664

MC

18.5

Democratic

5

Flint, MI

97,379

MC

18.3

Democratic

6

St. Louis, MO

318,416

MC

18.2

Democratic

7

Wilmington, DE

71,455

MC

16.3

Democratic

8

Camden, NJ

74,417

MC

16.2

Democratic

9

Pine Bluff, AR

42,984

MC

16.0

Democratic

10

Kansas City, MO

481,360

CM

15.9

Democratic

11

S. Bernardino, CA   

HYB

MC

15.3

Democratic

12

Alexandria, LA

47,334

MC

14.6

Democratic

13

Little Rock, AR

198,546

CM

14.6

Democratic

14

Cleveland, OH

385,810

MC

14.5

Democratic

15

Milwaukee, WI

595,070

MC

14.3

Democratic

16

Stockton, CA

307,057

CM

14.2

Democratic

17

Monroe, LA

49,761

MC

14.1

Democratic

18

Chester, PA

34,133

MC

14.0

Democratic

19

Rockford, IL

147,404

MC

14.0

Democratic

20

Albuquerque, NM

559,270

MC

13.7

Democratic

21

Pontiac, MI

59,792

MC

13.4

Democratic

22

Kalamazoo, MI

75,988

CM

13.3

Democratic

23

Anchorage, AK

298,192

HYB

13.1

Democratic

24

Oakland, CA

419,987

HYB

12.9

Democratic

25

Indianapolis, IN

852,506

MC

12.9

Democratic

26

East Point, GA

35,282

MC

12.8

Democratic

27

Compton, CA

97,537

CM

12.1

Democratic

28

Battle Creek, MI

52,347

CM

12.0

Republican

29

East St. Louis, IL

26,662

CM

12.0

Democratic

30

Canton, OH

71,329

MC

11.9

Democratic[8]

31

Elkhart, IN

52,348

MC

11.9

Democratic

32

Newburgh, NY

28,363

CM

11.9

Democratic

33

Riviera Beach, FL

34,674

MC

11.8

Democratic

34

Wichita, KS

389,938

CM

11.8

Democratic

35

Jackson, MI

32,704

CM

11.8

Democratic

36

New Orleans, LA

391,495

MC

11.8

Democratic

37

Trenton, NJ

84,065

MC

11.8

Democratic

38

Jacksonville, AR

28,235

MC

11.7

Democratic

39

Nashville, TN

688,901

MC

11.5

Democratic

40

Lansing, MI

117,400

MC

11.1

Democratic[9]

41

Daytona B., FL

66,649

MC

11.1

Democratic

42

Albany, GA

74,904

MC

10.9

Democratic

43

Harrisburg, PA

49,192

MC

10.8

Democratic

44

Tulsa, OK

401,190

MC

10.7

Republican

45

Beaumont, TX

116,825

CM

10.7

Republican

46

Hartford, CT

123,287

MC

10.7

Democratic

47

Desert Hot Sp, CA

28,878

MC

10.7

Republican

48

Buffalo, NY

255,284

MC

10.6

Democratic

49

Gadsden, AL

35,000

MC

10.5

Democratic

50

Chattanooga, TN

182,799

MC

10.5

Democratic


The Cities with the Highest Poverty Rates

Now let us turn our attention to the political leadership of the large U.S. cities with the highest poverty rates in the nation. These are cities that: (a) have populations of at least 200,000; (b) are governed by mayors who are clearly identifiable as either Democrats or Republicans; and (c) have either a “Mayor-Council” (MC) form of government, a “Council-Manager” (CM) form of government, or a Hybrid (HYB) of the two.[10] Of the 50 cities in this list, 41 have Democratic mayors, and just 9 have Republican mayors.[11]
 

Rank

City & State

Type of Govt.

Poverty Rate

Mayor’s Party

1

Detroit, MI  

MC

36.4%

Democratic

2

Cleveland, OH  

MC

34.6%

Democratic

3

Buffalo, NY

MC

30.3%  

Democratic

4

San Bernardino, CA  

HYB

28.4%

Democratic

5

Newark, NJ

MC

28.0% 

Democratic

6

Cincinnati, OH  

HYB

27.2%

Democratic

7

Fresno, CA

HYB

26.9% 

Republican

8

Memphis, TN  

MC

26.8%

Democratic

9

Milwaukee, WI

MC

26.6% 

Democratic

10

Toledo, OH

MC

25.6%

Democratic

11

Baton Rouge, LA

MC

25.2%

Democratic

12

Philadelphia, PA

MC

24.9%

Democratic

13

New Orleans, LA

MC

24.6%  

Democratic

14

Richmond, VA

MC

24.5%

Democratic

15

Miami, FL

HYB

24.3%   

Republican

16

St. Louis, MO

MC

24.2%

Democratic

17

Hialeah, FL 

MC

23.7% 

Republican

18

Tucson, AZ

CM

23.4%

Democratic

19

Baltimore, MD

MC

21.8%  

Democratic

20

Atlanta, GA

MC

21.6%

Democratic

21

Pittsburgh, PA

MC

21.4%

Democratic

22

Houston, TX

MC

20.6% 

Democratic

23

Dallas, TX

CM

20.5%

Democratic

24

Stockton, CA

CM

20.5%

Democratic

25

Columbus, OH  

MC

20.4% 

Democratic

26

Boston, MA

MC

20.2%

Democratic

27

Lubbock, TX

CM

20.2%

Republican

28

El Paso, TX

CM

20.0%

Republican

29

Minneapolis, MN

MC

19.9% 

Democratic

30

St. Paul, MN

MC

19.9% 

Democratic

31

Norfolk, VA

CM

19.7%  

Democratic

32

Tulsa, OK

MC

19.7%  

Republican

33

Chicago, IL

MC

19.5%

Democratic

34

Tampa, FL

MC

19.5%

Democratic

35

Phoenix, AZ

CM

19.4%  

Democratic

36

Los Angeles, CA

MC

19.1%

Democratic

37

New York, NY

MC

18.9%

Democratic

38

Glendale, AZ

CM

18.6% 

Republican

39

San Antonio, TX

CM

18.6% 

Democratic

40

Bakersfield, CA

CM

18.5%  

Republican

41

Greensboro, NC  

CM

18.5%  

Democratic

42

Jersey City, NJ

MC

18.3%

Democratic

43

Sacramento, CA

CM

18.3%  

Democratic

44

Spokane, WA

MC

18.3%

Republican

45

Orlando, FL

MC

18.2%

Democratic

46

Long Beach, CA

CM

18.1% 

Democratic

47

Madison, WI

MC

17.9%

Democratic

48

Santa Ana, CA

CM

17.7% 

Democratic

49

Albuquerque, NM

MC

17.6%

Democratic

50

Oakland, CA

HYB

17.6%

Democratic


It should be noted that many of the cities in the foregoing charts have been governed by Democrats not just for a short time, but for many years, or even decades, on end. To cite just a few examples: St. Louis has been led exclusively and continuously by Democrats for the past 71 years; Detroit, 58 years; Baltimore, 53 years; Kansas City, 29 years; Wilmington, 47 years; Cleveland, 30 years; Harrisburg, 38 years; Houston, 38 years; Minneapolis, 42 years; Chicago, 89 years; and Milwaukee, 60 years.

Conclusion

The facts are crystal clear, and they are stunning. For decade upon decade, the Democratic Party has fed mountains of rhetoric to its many reliable voting blocs in scores of U.S. cities, assuring them of its deep and abiding concern for the lives of ordinary Americans. Yet it has delivered absolutely nothing in terms of measurable improvements to those lives. Instead, the Party has gradually transformed itself into a political wrecking ball whose only tangible achievement in urban America has been to perpetuate obscene levels of poverty, crime, and human misery. It is a shocking record of wretched failure that can be neither ignored nor wished away.

Why on earth would anyone believe that entrusting Democrats with the reins of governmental power on a national level, as opposed to a city level, would lead to a better result?

It is time for serious-minded individuals who may have long supported the Democratic Party for reasons they deemed worthy and honorable, to finally recognize that their party has failed and betrayed them so consistently and so monstrously, that they now have a moral imperative to walk away from it.

* * *

Photo credit: Jared Tarbell

Notes:

[1] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/i-will-listen-joe-biden-visits-site-of-george-floyd-protests-in-delaware;
https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1293280411150217219?lang=en

[2] Democratic Party Platform, 2020 and 2016.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Dr. Andrew Schiller, “NeighborhoodScout’s Most Dangerous Cities – 2020” (NeighborhoodScout.com, 1-2-2020); “How We Rank the 100 Most Dangerous Cities List” (NeighborhoodScout.com, 2-2-2019).

[5] Any cities on NeighborhoodScout’s “Most Dangerous” list that are currently led by mayors who identify politically as “Independent,” “Nonpartisan,” “Bipartisan,” or “Other”—rather than as either “Democratic” or “Republican”—are not included on our list. Seven cities have been excluded for this reason. They are: Danville, IL; Saginaw, MI; Myrtle Beach, SC; Shawnee, OK; Farmington, NM; Springfield, MO; and Scranton, PA.    

[6] As Ballotpedia.org explains, “Mayor-Council” governments can be either “Strong Mayor-Council,” where the mayor is the chief executive with expansive powers, or “Weak Mayor-Council,” where the executive authority of the mayor is less expansive. Conversely, in a “Council-Manager” form of government the mayor is a regular voting member of the city council, which in turn appoints a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations, draft a budget, and implement the council's policies. Still, the mayor in such a system is a major player, responsible for such tasks as presiding at council meetings, serving as a spokesperson for the community, helping elected and appointed officials work together cohesively, and assisting the council in setting goals and making policy. (See also: https://government.georgetown.org/city-management/council-manager-form-of-government/.)

[7] Population statistics for each city are derived from City-data.com and the U.S. Census Bureau.

[8] Though Thomas Bernabei was elected mayor of Canton in 2015 by running as a nonpartisan, he has been a lifelong Democrat. Thus, he is counted here as a Democrat.

[9] Though Lansing’s city races are officially considered nonpartisan, Mayor Andy Schor is a career Democrat. Thus, he is counted here as a Democrat. See Sarah Lehr, “What Can Lansing Expect from Mayor Andy Schor?” (Lansing Journal, 12-29-2017).  

[10] See Note #6.

[11] https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/united-states/quick-facts/cities/rank/percent-of-people-of-all-ages-in-poverty;
https://ballotpedia.org/Party_affiliation_of_the_mayors_of_the_100_largest_cities

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