*(Via NewsOne) – So far this year, 232 people have been killed in Chicago, about 9 percent below the 10-year average for this time of year, the Daily News reports. And the month of July has been particularly bloody: Over the July 4th weekend, 12 were murdered with more than 60 people injured, and just this past weekend, another 6 people were killed and 17 were injured in shootings that reportedly began on Friday and continued through Sunday.
The rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire has decimated Chicago’s urban areas in recent years, sparking headlines across the globe as body bags pile up and police and elected officials grapple with ways to quell mounting gang violence. Now three Illinois lawmakers, along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, held a summit on urban violence on July 25 and will hold another today, July 26 at Chicago State University, with the hopes of mapping out a concrete plan to address the critical issue.
The Chicago event is expected to draw at least 1,000 attendees, including parents, students, elected officials, psychiatrists, local gang leaders, and religious leaders, such as the Min. Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) told NewsOne.
Davis also expects Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and officials from the Chicago Police Department and the school system to attend. Davis and Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill) created the event in order to develop a plan that would stem the tide of violence, he said. They also want do develop an action plan with three recommendations for follow-up.
“Chicago has become known as the epicenter of urban violence, though it’s not the only place where it’s occurring,” Davis said. “But being at the center of America and having such a large number of shootings, the three of us decided that we had to do something to address it in a serious way and we had to do it immediately.
“Some of shootings are gang-related; some of them are not. Just here recently, a grandmother choked her 8-year-granddaughter to death. She was babysitting. We are trying to understand this violent trend and how people are reacting.”
Davis and Rush represent congressional districts with the highest concentration of gun violence in the Chicago area on the South and West Sides. Both have been vocal about combating the problem.
Read more NewsOne.