COMMISSIONER BOYKIN, RAINBOW PUSH, THE CHICAGO URBAN LEAGUE, AND MOTHERS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE, iHEART RADIO LAUNCHING LISTENING TOUR IN ENDANGERED COMMUNITIES
Commissioner Richard R. Boykin, 1st District, will host a series of weekly listening tour meetings in the nine Chicago communities most impacted by violence, poverty, health disparities, and unemployment. The meetings will be concentrated on the South and West sides of the city of Chicago in the following neighborhoods:
• West Garfield Park
• West Englewood
• Auburn Gresham
• Gage Park
• Washington Park
• Fuller Park
• North Lawndale
Beginning on September 13, 2016, these meetings will take place on Tuesday evenings, and will serve to shine the spotlight on the economic, social and public safety challenges disproportionately impacting poor communities of color in Chicago. The twin goals of the tour will be to raise awareness and to organize these constituencies to demand resources from their local, state and federal governments.
At last count, according to the Chicago Tribune, 2,943 individuals were shot in 2016, with 507 killed. In all of last year, there were 2,988.
The victims of this violence disproportionately come from communities that face crushing economic and social challenges. For example, in West Garfield Park, per capita income is $10,951 and 40.3 percent of residents are living below the poverty line. The unemployment rate in West Garfield is 25.2 percent. In Fuller Park, per capita household income is $9,016, with 55.5 percent of households living below the poverty line and an unemployment rate of 40 percent. These conditions breed hopelessness- and hopelessness breeds violence.
Commissioner Boykin and his community partners in this endeavor - Rainbow PUSH, the Chicago Urban League, the Safer Foundation, iHeart Radio and Mothers Against Gun Violence - look forward to collecting direct community input during this tour, and utilizing that input to propose and advance policies designed to stabilize these endangered communities.
The listening tour will give members of these communities the opportunity to address leaders directly. Those leaders will then respond to the community to draft ideas and solutions. By the end of the tour, we will deliver to the General Assembly in Springfield and other leaders a report with the demanded solutions.
In addition, information regarding housing, employment, ex-offenders, and others will be directly available at the end of each meeting.
Listening Tour Dates and Locations:
September 13, 2016
Hosted by Rev. Marshall Hatch of New Mt. Pilgram Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd.
September 20, 2016
Hosted by Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John’s Church, 1256 N. Waller Ave.
September 27, 2016
Hosted by Rev. Leslie Sanders of Hope Church, 1354 W. 61st Street
October 6, 2016
October 11, 2016
October 18, 2016
Hosted by Rev. Walter Harris of Carey Centenary Church, 1448 S. Homan
October 25, 2016
November 1, 2016
November 8, 2016