As a prudent investment firm, we prioritize thorough vetting processes to ensure that the properties we invest in align with our core values and provide a secure environment for our clients. Our approach encompasses a comprehensive analysis of crime rates, homelessness statistics, poverty indicators, and the overall economic health of a city. Beyond the numbers, we consider the quality of leadership and the values upheld by local authorities, as these factors play a pivotal role in shaping the long-term prospects of a commercial real estate investment. We have had several investment properties near Naperville IL, in the southwest quadrant of the Chicago area. It is a vibrant, conservative community where we have been able to provide secure investment opportunities for our clients. Click here to view our current Naperville property.

The following article was called to our attention by one of our co-owners in Naperville, IL. She stated, “Saw this article in the July/August AMAC magazine. So happy to have our investment in Naperville.”


Charles, Robert B. “A Tale of Two Cities”. AMAC Magazine, Volume 17, Issue 4. Pages 32-34.

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote a novel entitled A Tale of Two Cities, set during the French Revolution’s slide into darkness. Oddly, the title fits our times. Increasingly, we have become a nation characterized by “a tale of two cities,” one painfully “woke,” the other intentionally not. 

With 100,000 cities to choose from, picking for contrast is like picking a floating duck at the fair, hoping to get a match. Cities are divided by political, geographic, economic, ethnic, and countless demographic lines, some coastal and “progressive,” some inland and traditional. 

Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California, are paradigms of “woke” culture, followed by other Democrat-led cities. Their leaders are disenchanted with law enforcement; relatively anti-business; unapologetically disparaging toward traditional families, faith, and patriotic values; often against parent involvement in schools; and tolerant of higher taxes, illegal immigration, and activism.

By contrast, cities like Naperville, Illinois, or Glendale, Arizona, much like Wyoming, West Virginia, Utah, Idaho, Arkansas, Alabama, and North Dakota, are thoughtfully conservative, led by reference to a wholly different philosophy of life and management. 

Starting from the premise that the government exists to foster the greatest possible liberty consistent with everyone else’s liberty, success is measured by public safety, opportunities for a good education, hard work, and prosperity—or “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Data is revealing.

Which approach often promotes what most Americans imagine as the “good life,” that is, one safer, mutually respectful, healthy, happy, and prosperous? Beyond instinct, let’s look at data.

While a dozen variables could be lofted, consider big ones—crime, homelessness, poverty—along with “progressive” policies, like diminishing the police and welcoming illegal aliens. 

While populations vary, big cities enjoy economies of scale, big tax bases, diverse industries, infrastructure, and more federal support—while smaller ones have collegiality advantages. The key—what decides if a city thrives or dies—is arguably not size, age, industry, geography, demography, ethnicity, climate, or other peripheral factors. It is leadership—the integrity, priorities, and accountability of leaders. Are safety, harmony, and growth promoted or eroded?

Contrasts are illustrative and shocking. “Woke” Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California, stand in sharp contrast to traditional, family-friendly, and fiscally conservative cities like Naperville, Illinois, and Glendale, Arizona. The facts are riveting and hard to deny.

Portland, Oregon, a self-proclaimed “hotbed of progressivism” has more crime than 99 percent of the country based on national data and set another homicide record in 2022. San Francisco has higher crime than 98 percent of the country and twice the property crime of all of California.

Not surprisingly, Portland’s and San Francisco’s police suffer low recruitment and retention, budget cuts, and disrespect from “progressive” leaders. When safety matters, “progressivism” fails. Notably, public discontent precedes change, and 82 percent of Portland voters want change.

If any city is a poster child for failure, Portland may be it. Forbes called it the “Death of a City,” while the Los Angeles Times entitled a 2023 article, “What’s the Matter with Portland? Shootings, Thefts, and Other Crime Test the City’s Progressive Strain.” Indeed.

That article, noting the city’s parallel economic demise, reported homelessness “jumped [ . . . from] 4,000 to at least 6,600,” while “shootings [ . . . ] tripled,” and crime of all kinds “spiked” in three years.

“Progressive” San Francisco, meantime, recorded 20,000 homeless last year, a spike attributed to job losses, drug abuse, and—like Portland, Oregon—its status as a sanctuary, or pro-illegal alien, city.

What about places prioritizing safety: those pro-police, anti-drug, pro-business, anti-illegal immigration places that consciously respect tradition, family, faith, entrepreneurship, fiscal responsibility, and lower taxes? Do they fare any better?

Data is the touchstone, a way of measuring. Naperville, an interior data point, is led by a Republican mayor and has less crime than 83 percent of the country, with crime hitting four in 1,000 residents. By contrast, in Portland, led by a “progressive,” crime hits 66 in 1,000. Republican-led Glendale, Arizona, sees five crimes per 1,000, while “progressive” San Francisco sees 54 per 1,000.

Go then to economic data. Naperville’s poverty rate is 3.77 percent—versus San Francisco’s 25 percent and Portland’s 12.2 percent. Portland also has the second-highest number of homeless families in America. Meantime, Glendale’s poverty rate, up during COVID, fell 58 percent last year.

National data measuring “conservatism” is spotty but illustrative. With family, faith, tradition, military service, and patriotism signs of “conservatism,” beyond economic and law enforcement support data, a long list of US cities by Pew Research puts San Francisco dead last and Portland, Oregon, near the bottom, while Mesa, Arizona—half an hour from Glendale—tops the list.

The takeaway is simple: Leadership and political priorities do matter. They affect our lives in real ways. America is increasingly “a tale of two cities,” one set conservative, traditional, pro-law enforcement, pro-business, anti-drug, anti-illegal, pro-family, faith, and freedom—not surprisingly safer and more prosperous. The other set is “progressive” and sliding fast.

Perhaps Dickens’s famous first sentence fits our times as easily as his. He wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period [ . . . [.”

The time of which he wrote was like his—and shudderingly, like ours. We can choose the high road, the “city on the hill,” or slide toward progressivism and “the other way.” We have a choice.