FOR CHICAGO'S MEDIA:
TWO CHAIRS TO EARN TRUST IN CHICAGO
A Public Safety Contest and
News Feature for Chicago TV.
Two Episodes airing six or eight weeks apart with weekly updates in between
First show two chairs. Empty. On a barren, darkened set. With the official seal of the City of Chicago dimly visible, darkened, between the chairs (if not the seal, then the flag of Chicago).
Now show two Chicago leaders taking their seats. Well known for their seniority. But known also for their constant feuding on TV news soundbites. Facing themselves, they introduce themselves by name and title. Then they turn their chairs to face the camera.
Now enter a moderator who warmly thanks both leaders for agreeing to be the first Chicago leaders to “play a game Chicago can’t afford to lose. A game to make Chicago SAFE.”
The moderator explains the game. Like all games, it has winners and losers. But in this game both leaders can win. So can 2.7 million Chicagoans. But ONLY if the leaders make and keep a solemn pledge to complete a significant project to make Chicago SAFE by an agreed-on date. (Already, before they take their seats, the two leaders have created and agreed on a significant project after careful negotiations.)
Next briefly show the moderator pulling up a chair and taking a seat (no desk!!) and asking the leaders how they developed their Chicago SAFE project and how they plan to complete it on deadline.
Now all three stand up and shake hands with the moderator asking the camera, “Will these feuding leaders fulfill their pledge to make Chicago SAFE? Stay tuned for weekly updates and a final Two Chairs segment on [the agreed on date]."
The final episode Two Chairs airs weeks later. Pledge fulfilled? If so, everyone celebrates. If not, options range from extension to failure, depending on how close the leaders came to fulfilling their pledge.
Rinse and repeat. With new feuding leaders. New pledges fulfilled. (Or not. It’s a game!)
Overnight, this three-minute news feature is the talk of the town. Because it’s fresh. Exciting. And it sounds a positive note in Chicago’s strife-torn political discourse.
It also shows Chicago's leaders leading constructively. And (for the first time ever) a it shows a TV station supplementing its reportorial role in covering Chicago's violence with a constructive, facilitating role in Chicago's drive not merely to make itself less violent but to make itself SAFE: possibly the “safest big city in the United States,” as Mayor Lightfoot was saying in 2019 before COVID and George Floyd's murder disrupted the city.