The Reclaim Campaign to reduce violence in our communities is celebrating two major victories! Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Sheriff Tom Dart publicly announced a plan to tear down three divisions of the Cook County Jail over the next two years. President Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners recently increased the funding for community-based violence prevention in the FY17 Cook County Budget from $3.2 to $6.2 million!
CRS member churches came together to affirm our priorities for the “Platform for Renewal 2016-17,” present our annual congregational and partner awards, celebrate campaign victories, celebrate board members whose terms have ended, elect new board members and dialogue about our strategic vision. Father Larry Dowling of St. Agatha Catholic Church and Jaquie Algee of Trinity UCC co-chaired the assembly.
Fifty days have passed since the video of LaQuan McDonald’s killing was released, and yet Mayor Emanuel and the City Council have taken no decisive action to address the systemic failures of Chicago’s police oversight.
On Saturday October 4, the Reclaim Campaign held a public meeting where Cook County Commissioners commitment to actively seek a $1 million increase for the violence prevention, intervention, and reduction grants in the 2015 Cook County Budget.
This is good news, but we still have much more work to do. The current budget increases spending on the Cook County Jail by $27 million but makes no increase for preventing violence in our communities.
There is plenty of evidence that our current public safety strategy is not working. It's time for Cook County to invest in preventing violence instead of reacting to it. We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem.