GREAT post Jay!
Sorry about your hometown :(
Actually AL, in the good ole days, Chicago was our stomping grounds. If you know where to go, there is some fabulous nightlife and entertainment. I did not live in it, but a city near it. Illinois is my home state, something I haven't probably said before, but I know all about it, I know about the liberalism, I know about the undocumented immigrants (LOL) illegal aliens is what they are. I know about the schools, crime, gun runner's, gang bangers, how easy it is for teenagers to get guns, taxes -(the one reason retirees move south). I know about the crooked politicians, the crooked unions, and the ways of the people who live there. Nobody can tell me about Northern Illinois I don't already know.
A town, chuck full of history and pride, is now over-run by the foreign element who wants to change things the way it was in their country. Liberalism nearly caused the bankruptcy of a town, where the city laid off numbers of city workers because they were doling out too much in welfare and free medical that they couldn't keep pace with it. I believe they are coming out of it now, but that is why the average home owner in a small 3 bedroom will pay up to or thereabouts $5000.00 in home owner taxes. Another reason retirees move south.
It's a given, that when your town becomes over-run with unskilled people who immediately apply for welfare benefits and jobs are scarce, your town will deteriorate because more will come. I don't give a rats what Obama says, or anyone else, the best way to bankrupt your city is to encourage the kind of element that feeds off the work force. Been there, done it, seen it.