Why is My Hometown the Safest City in America?

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Here’s the latest news from my hometown of Irvine:

In 2011, for the eighth year in a row, the Orange County city had the lowest violent crime rate of any U.S. city with a population larger than 100,000, the FBI said Monday. Irvine — population 214,872 — reported only 120 violent crimes last year, the same number as the year before.

I’ve never understood this. Irvine is your basic upper middle class suburban community, and it’s no surprise that our crime rate is low. But why is it consistently the lowest in the entire country? And not just that, but the lowest by quite a margin. If you look at the raw data, the violent crime rate in Irvine is 56 per 100,000. The second safest city is Naperville, Illinois, clocking in at 79 per 100,000. That’s a big jump from first place to second.

So what’s the deal? Why is it that year after year Irvine is so astonishingly safe, even compared to other upper middle class suburban cities? What’s our secret?

(If you’re curious, the most dangerous city in America is currently Flint, Michigan, with a violent crime rate of 2,337 per 100,000. Detroit is #2 and St. Louis is #3.)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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