Violence Must Stop – Too Many Citizens Continue to be Seriously Hurt or Killed
CHICAGO, Illinois, March 26, 2012 – The Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.) today calls for an end to the violence in the City of Chicago. It is time that we – community organizations, faith-based institutions, businesses and individuals — come together to join the Mayor’s recently announced plan of action to end the violence that plagues our city. Too many of us live in fear as we attempt to go to school, to work, the grocery store and any other normal individual and family activity.
As reported by RedEye, this past Wednesday, the city reached the 100-homicide mark for 2012. Chicago has not reached 100 homicides in March since 2004. Between March 14 and March 21 alone, 17 homicides were reported citywide.
Enough is enough. As Mayor Emanuel recently declared, this behavior is unacceptable and tears at the very fabric of our city.
We, therefore, join the Mayor and the Police Superintendent in this call for an end to violence and also call on the County Board President and Sheriff to join in this initiative with the community and neighborhood leadership in our city and county. Can we really be worthy of entertaining the Nobel Peace Prize winners visiting our city in April and the NATO conference in May, when our own citizens are not safe?
Nothing we do – not our public school reform initiatives, our public housing transformation initiatives, our city-wide arts and culture initiatives or community development initiatives will work, if this environment of violence and destruction remains.
The time has come. The time is now. All ethnic, racial and religious groups are urged to join in a city and county action plan against violence.
The Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.) believes that it is important to examine the critical issues confronting the African American community where injustice, inequality and the absence of access and opportunity continue to prevail, thereby negatively impacting us as a people. C.O.A.L. is an assemblage that advocates and organizes for appropriate and responsible public policy change, system behavior change and equality of opportunity. We aim to achieve for all of our people the fullness of the life experience without any form of racism or exclusion as a deterrent. We believe we must prepare ourselves for the opportunity of this full participation, thereby achieving the necessary education and training to participate.
Contact: Clarence N. Wood, President
Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.)
Craig K. Wimberly, Chair
COAL – Public Policy
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