Reverend Jesse Jackson says it will take major federal investments to tackle Chicago’s gun violence, and the key is to address a number of socioeconomic issues that serve as the root of the problem.
He is calling for several federal agencies to step in and lend Chicago a hand.
Jackson, with the backing of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is calling for the White House to lead an emergency summit to address Chicago’s violence, poverty and unemployment.
The civil rights leader is naming names, saying he would like to see the Department of Housing and Urban Development step in to help address neighborhoods plagued by foreclosure, and he wants the Department of Health and Human Services to create more trauma centers in Chicago. He also says the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives need to step in to help regulate the flow of guns and drugs in the city.
Jackson says attacking these deficits, plus employment, will help turn down the dial on Chicago’s shootings.
“This is a war zone, and we need a little help that’s beyond the city’s capacity,” Jackson said. “We’re overwhelmed. We wait for the body count every Monday morning.”
He noted that more than 1,000 people were shot this year and about 4,000 were killed in the last two years.
Jackson and Rainbow PUSH are initiating a petition drive to get their message across as well as reaching out to local and state politicians.