Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis and St. Sabina Pastor Michael Pfleger join officials from the Chicago Public Schools for an anti-violence march and rally to highlight the need for community involvement to keep children safe during the upcoming summer break session.
The march stepped off at the intersection of 79th Street and ended at a rally at the Martin Luther King Park and Family Center, 1219 West 76th Street.
“Violence in our communities is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Today, thousands of Chicago Public School students start their summer break. This is a time for relaxation, spending time with family and friends and, at the same time, sharpening the academic skills that were achieved during the school year. The summer time is not a time for our children to experience violence,” said Mayor Daley.
Although cities across the country are experiencing challenging economic times, the City of Chicago, its sister agencies, the faith-base community and the business community are working together to provide Chicago’s teens with the positive activities to ensure a safe and productive summer.
This summer, the City and its sister agencies, joined by community organizations and faith-based groups will provide about 250,000 of Chicago's young people the opportunity to participate in a wide range of education, sports and other activities.
The Mayor has again called on the business community to help provide even more summer opportunities for young people, either by contributing funds to a community organization or to fund more summer opportunities within their organizations.
“The Chicago Police Department can’t do it all, the teachers can’t do it all and government cannot do it alone. In order to have long lasting solutions to some of the problems that plague our entire society we need for everyone to be involved,” Mayor Daley said.
“That includes businesses, the faith-based community and residents have to work in coordination with the government to solve these issues. It’s not easy but nothing that’s truly worthwhile ever is. But the rewards will stand the test of time.
It is our responsibility to find positive alternatives this summer for young people to participate in,” added the Mayor.
The City of Chicago’s summer’s programs are part of a comprehensive plan that are part of other measures the City has taken to put its young people on the right track away from the dangers of gangs, guns and drugs.
These plans include using in federal economic stimulus funds to reduce school violence and create “cultures of calm” in 38 high schools with high concentrations of students at-risk of being involved with violence.
Deploying Police Department resources more strategically to troubled schools at dismissal times, using $1 million in proceeds from the City’s parking meter lease agreement to fund at least 500 jobs and other after school opportunities for young people.