I was humbled by The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr who called me five minutes after I finished my interview on CNN on Tuesday, April 27th. Rev. Jackson commended me for my analysis and the fact that in addition to my analysis, it was followed by my specific recommendations that could create hundreds of new summer jobs for those at-risk for being caught up in the gang, drug, and other illegal street economies and also risk their lives and the lives of others when those street battles result in senseless acts of violence, shootings, and deaths.
Rev. Jackson said he agreed with me that Chicago is in s State of Emergency (see attached statement) and that the root of it is the desperate economic conditions that people find themselves in in Black and other poor urban communities. A lot of good people forced into bad situations trying to make an income for themselves and their families and unfortunately, the tensions that arise in the streets results in violence and death.
Because of his national status and media rapport, I hope that Rev. Jackson can help Mayor Daley, Governor Quinn, Jody Weis and others see that these desperate economic conditions helped Chicago become The Murder Capital Of The World DESPITE increases in targeted community policing. No amount of additional policing can overcome the dangeorus realities that are sure to come from people being faced with the same desperate economic conditions. We MUST address an economic problem with an economic solution!
April 27, 2010
"Chicago is in a state of emergency. It has been reported that 113 people have been killed in Chicago this year. The same number of U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same time period.
The present structure is not adequate to secure the people. We are laying off teachers, closing schools, proposing shorter school days, reducing public transportation, laying off transit workers and raising the fare for public transportation and public parking. The basic issues in the zones of pain are not being addressed. Neighborhoods facing high crime and violence are also facing record home foreclosure rates and student loan defaults.
If talk about bringing in the National Guard illuminates the issue, then let the debate begin.
We need to revive the ban on assault weapons. We need targeted jobs, targeted job training, open skill and trade training in the unions and organized adult regulated recreation for our children.
We need a comprehensive urban policy plan now. We have a plan for security and development in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also had a plan to salvage Wall Street. Why not a plan for Chicago?
The robber barons of our time have been bailed out while the poor are being locked up and wallow in unacceptable violence. We need help now.
Just as we have decided that the Wall Street banks are too big to fail, the growing number of the poor and the unemployed are too big to abandon. They must no longer be told to wait. Those in the zones of pain, whether rural Appalachia or Alabama, are too big to fail as well."
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit http://www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366