CHICAGO (CBS) — Residents and activists from Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood visited City Hall to push for more money for violence prevention programs.
People from the neighborhood council also held up electronic candles to commemorate victims of a surge in violence that has killed nearly two dozen people this year in their community.
Activist Guadalupe Chavez thinks she knows some reasons why the violence has increased.
“It is a not a coincidence that these young people were 13, 14, 15 when our state eliminated all of the violence prevention programs, and our mayor began cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from our schools, closing 50 of them,” she said.
15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez said the violence could be addressed through more funding for prevention programs from a tax rebate surplus.
“I and some of my colleagues will be directly be introducing an ordinance to the city council, spelling out how every dollar of the rebate funds should go to street level intervention and should go to mentoring 5th and 6th graders,” he said.
Alderman Lopez said his plans should appeal to all of Chicago’s challenged neighborhoods. Other aldermen are also proposing to expand school based counseling and to make the city’s summer jobs program year round.