State Representative LaShawn K. Ford (D-8) is hosting a Town Meeting on Monday, May 10, to discuss ideas for combating the escalating violence and explore his controversial proposal to use the Illinois National Guard as an assist to the Chicago Police. The Town Meeting is being held from 6:00-8:00 PM at Ronald McNair Elementary School, 4820 West Walton Street.
On April 25, Rep. Ford and Rep. John Fritchey called upon Governor Pat Quinn to work with Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis on ways to deploy Illinois National Guard troops to assist the Chicago Police in preventing further violence in especially troubled areas of the city.
Ford points out that 113 people have been killed in Chicago during the first four months of this year, the same number of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
“The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly taking place right here in our own backyard,” Rep. Fritchey declares. “Is this a drastic call to action? Of course it is. But, it is warranted when we are losing residents to violence at such an alarming rate.”
Ford says, “We cannot accept it as a normal situation that someone is shot and killed in Chicago almost every day.” He says, “We need more help to combat violence in our communities, and we need to put together a comprehensive plan which includes the National Guard to secure the peace and to work respectfully to win the hears and minds of the citizens in the most violence-prone areas.”
Noting that violence and crime also lead to a decrease in property values, discourages people from establishing businesses, and hurts existing businesses, Rep. Ford urges a comprehensive approach to violence prevention, including the improvement of educational and employment opportunities. “Increasing security by combating and preventing crime is only part of the solution,” Ford says.
For more information, call Rep. Ford’s office at 773/378-5902 or visit www.lashawnford.com.