CHICAGO (CBS) — A roomful of young activists attending a Youth Summit at Malcolm X College heard from two of the Democrats seeking the 2018 nomination for Illinois governor.

A show of hands during the summit indicated that only about one-third of those in the room would not be old enough to vote next year. Despite that, many indicated that they are already dedicated to working for change.

Tio Hardiman said his candidacy is intended as a “wake up call.” He said some gang members who shoot first and think later “have mental health issues” that need full attention and more generous public funding, and said if elected, will work to cut Illinois’ murder rate in half.

He said the key to his plan is unity.

“Black men must organize like never before in addressing our people and bringing our people to peace,” he said.

If elected, he said, he would provide the money needed “to move the process along.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said the criminal justice system is “unfair and racist,” the war on drugs has failed, and recreational marijuana should be legalized.

“We’ve got to rethink it from the ground up,” Biss said.

Biss said the Illinois Constitution should be changed to allow a graduated income tax. He said the current system, which relies heavily on property taxes to fund education, is the worst in the nation and said it’s why so many public schools in Illinois do so poorly.