Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sun-Times: More officials than solutions at Chatham anti-violence summit

If found this Sun-Times article on FB and the headline grabs your attention. There's another article from DNA Info on this same subject and I'll excerpt from it. The Sun-Times headline almost reads like an editorial but perhaps there is some truth to it. What do you think?

Anyway an excerpt of what the Sun-Times reports:
The heaviest hitters in Chicago politics got together for more than an hour Wednesday to figure out what to do about gun violence in the Chatham community.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn were there. So were Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush played host to them and several other political, religious and business leaders. They all met behind closed doors at his South Side office in the 700 block of East 79th Street — less than a block from where special education teacher Betty Howard was fatally shot in the head last week.

But when the doors opened, the group had little new to announce beyond a “hope and healing” neighborhood festival, a commitment to make more summer jobs available in the area, a rough plan to open a job training center in a vacant building nearby — and an agreement to keep on meeting.
Here's an excerpt of what DNA Info reports:
If violence in the Chatham area is ever going to be curbed — and if the South Side neighborhood is ever going to see a revival — more needs to be done to reduce the number of school dropouts, create permanent jobs and improve economic development.

That was the conclusion of several city, state and national leaders who took part in a 90-minute meeting at the South Side district offices of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago).

"The city is committed to bringing back what has slipped away, and that's a once-vibrant community," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel of the neighborhood's history of having a large black middle-class community home to many retired teachers, among others.

In addition to Emanuel and Rush, the meeting at 700 E. 79th St. included Gov. Pat Quinn; Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez; Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett; Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy; and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
I think this statement is worth addressing:
 "The ones doing all this shooting in Chatham are the ones not in school," [Josephine Wade, who owns Josephine's Cooking] said. "If they were in school they would not be doing all this shooting."

Wade said she she speaks daily with youths as they walk pass her soul-food restaurant and discovered many are high school dropouts.

"These kids tell me they stopped going to school when they were 9 and now they are 14 and 15-years old," she said. "They're the ones committing the crimes but no one seems to be focused on that."
While I do believe education is the key to many of the problems we're facing among the youths today, we may not win them all. What do we do about the ones who may not want to return to school and will cause problems if they're forced to return to the classrooms? We do have a lot of discussions about the many issues we have out there and the best solutions to move forward.

BTW, this was posted to Worlee's Concerned Citizen's of Chatham yesterday. How many other people out there feel the same way about this as Worlee.

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