Taking Action for a Safer Community
It has been a busy fall for ONE members committed to stopping violence in our community. You name it… marches, research actions, peace circles, surveys, shooting responses, youth speak outs… ONE leaders are taking action to address violence in our community and the disparity that surrounds it.
Over 15 years ago, ONE leadership made the strategic decision to address violence in our community by fighting against the core causes of violence: the lack of resources and opportunity that confronts many within our communities. We have learned that strategies focused on increased enforcement and harsher penalties have only worked to make our community less safe as they exacerbate the core causes of crime and violence. That is why ONE has focused on long-term strategies that have been proven to gain results for communities and individuals.
ONE has been a statewide leader in focusing public safety actions on creating access to resources that cut against the realities of poverty, racism, addiction, recidivism, and displacement. Businesses and ex-offenders worked together to change state policy to allow sealing of low-level, non-violent offenses so it is easier for people to positively contribute to our community. Recovering addicts and service agencies have created more access to drug school, which has a recidivism rate 40% lower than the Illinois Department of Corrections. Students and parents have worked to increase the number of students who graduate from Chicago Public Schools. In the past 5 years, ONE members have secured over four million dollars for public safety interventions including transitional jobs, CeaseFire, the Community Support Advisory Council, youth jobs, parent leadership jobs, school based counseling, youth development, case management, and reentry support services for youth. All of these victories were made possible by the leadership of ONE members who have tirelessly fought to address violence by building community.
Currently, through CeaseFire, Safety NetWorks and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, ONE members and partners are actively addressing the core causes of violence and researching the impact of the juvenile justice systems on our community. Most recently, the United Church of Rogers Park and Alternatives Inc. teamed up to create a peace mural on Morse Avenue (see photo). On October 8th, 15 people participated in the Circles for Youth Justice Training – an effort to build intergenerational analysis around the impacts of the juvenile justice systems on our community. Also, youth leaders have developed a survey that assesses youth experience with the juvenile justice systems. They have already collected over 800! Download your copy now (attached below) and send completed surveys to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 773-769-0729.
This week, the Violence Prevention Committee meets on Thursday (Oct. 20) and there is a Youth Speak Out at the Uptown Hull House on Saturday (Oct. 22). For more information about these efforts and other ways that you can get involved in creating a safer community, contact Cory Muldoon at email@example.com.