Aspects of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin’s 7-point plan to curb gun violence received mixed reactions at a summit the West Side politician held Saturday. The most contorversial part of the plan involves charging individuals who commit gun crimes as domestic terrorists.
The summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was attended by city and county officials as well as academics and community activists. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were invited to the summit, but did not make an appearance. Boykin says the purpose of the summit was “to put meat on the bones” of his plan.
Boykin unveiled the gun violence prevention plan in May after he became concerned about the increasing number of shootings in his West Side district. Since the plan’s release, Boykin has come under fire for the concept of charging individuals that shoot a gun, and their accomplices, as domestic terrorists. Boykin did not escape that criticism at Saturday’s summit.
Gov. Bruce Rauner made appointments to the recently-established state commission tasked with developing criminal justice and sentencing reforms, according to a Tuesday announcement from the administration.
The following comes from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
What are the mayoral and aldermanic elections really about? There are a host of gut level issues raised by the various candidates that seem to address public education, job creation and unemployment, elimination of pension funds, public safety, the housing crisis, the health care crisis, MBE/WBE Independent Contractors, and all the ancillary issues that lie dormant in the social savagery created by budget cuts that further impoverish the poor and enrich the rich. But what about the racism, driven by an ever-deepening economic crisis and the political delirium of the powers that be, that is casting a shadow over all these issues? Ah! Therein lies the problem; everybody is ignoring the racist cutting edge of all the gut level issues afflicting our City, and getting away with it.
Three of Chicago’s five mayoral contenders participated in a youth-led candidate forum Wednesday evening focused on issues that affect the lives of young people of color in the city. Progress Illinois was there for the event.
“The futures of African-American girls are on the line,” stressed NWLC’s Co-President Marcia Greenberger. “It’s shameful that too many girls are falling between the cracks of an educational system that ignores their real needs. A strong education is essential for people in our country to compete in our economy and earn wages that can support themselves and their families. It’s critical to turn this crisis around and put these girls on a path to success.”