Providing a safe community for those that live in the district is an important priority. Many areas in the district see an uptick in violence and drug transactions in the summer of each year. Support of law enforcement and well-organized communities and appropriate gun control laws are important solutions that I support to tackle crime.
*During the 2008 legislative session, I introduced SB1013 which provides support and services to at-risk juveniles who end up in the juvenile justice system.
*I also introduced Senate Bill 31, a bill that would revoke FOID cards from parents who allow a child with mental illness access to their firearms.
*I have also successfully advocated for funding for after school youth programs and gun violence prevention programs.
After a shooting near Lawrence and Sheridan in 2008, residents of Uptown asked State Representative Greg Harris and me to organize a town hall meeting on public safety to hear resident's concerns. Nearly 400 people attended the first town hall meeting and spoke about their concerns.
Following the meeting, Representative Greg Harris and I met with leaders and community organizations in the district and developed four working groups in the following areas:
*Increased citizen participation in public safety decision making and better communications in the community
*Changes in public policy to address public safety
*Youth programming and involvement
*Business participation and involvement
These groups have worked independently to suggest solutions and organize community members around the safety issue. I have also encouraged residents to get involved in CAPS and their block clubs. Many area residents have proactively put together neighborhood watches, which have greatly reduced crime in those areas.
Representative Greg Harris and I continue to work on supporting community-oriented solutions to public safety issues in Uptown.
In 2008, I held a town hall meeting on public safety in Rogers Park with State Representative Harry Osterman, attended by nearly 100 persons. Following this meeting, several participants indicated that they would like more information on how to volunteer and get involved in the community. In June of 2009, I worked with several other offices to put together a "Summer Resource Fair" to bring together all of the community organizations that provide services to the community in Rogers Park.