Posted by StreetWise in Latest News
Approximately 50 community leaders gathered in front of the office building of World Business Chicago (WBC) March 6 to celebrate the relocation of the G8 summit from Chicago to Camp David. Members of the Grassroots Collaborative called for the money originally raised for the summit to be put towards creating neighborhood safety jobs, such as parent patrols, vacant property night watchmen, and summer jobs for youth.
Charles Jenkins with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless stressed the need for public safety in order to have economic development: “Chicago cannot become the global city it aspires to be without first ensuring safety for all its residents. Too many Chicagoans, especially in the Black and Latino communities, live daily with violence, foreclosed abandoned houses, and high unemployment.” Jenkins praised President Obama for moving the summit and called for a $100 million neighborhood jobs trust, with $65 million to be immediately put toward the fund.
Leary Ann Crawford of Chatham told the story of losing her son to gang violence and seeing her neighborhood change for the worse: “When I first moved to Chatham 17 years ago it was a prestigious community…now children don’t play outside because it’s not safe.” Crawford said that youth could be put to work this summer as security for vacant property.
Maria Hueramo with the Brighton Park Neighborhood had seen similar changes in her neighborhood: “Last Thursday two teenagers, 15 and 18 years old, were shot in two separate shootings that occurred within 12 hours of one another… We need safe streets most importantly
near our schools where the violence threatens the innocence of our children.” Hueramo called for parent patrols in her neighborhood and others.
Jenkins then led the other speakers to request a meeting with World Business Chicago, but they were unable to get past the receptionist.
The Grassroots Collaborative includes Action Now, American Friends Service Committee-Great Lakes region, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Teachers Union, Enlace Chicago, Illinois
Hunger Coalition, Service Employees International Union Local 73, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois Indiana and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.
Written by: Suzanne Hanney & Prepared Materials