Young Chicago anti-violence activists meet, rally for safer city

CHICAGO – A group of young activists in Chicago met and rallied today calling for better lives and safer streets in the city.

Young activists and their adult mentors conferring about Chicago’s South and West Sides.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly called the meeting, saying these young leaders must demand anti-violence resources.

“We cannot continue like this. We’re losing a generation of young people,” Kelly said.

Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent Johnson have been touting progress reducing shootings on the South and West sides.

But teens at Friday’s conference say they don’t feel safer.

“If it’s like one less shooting a year then, yes, that’s progress but at the same time couldn’t we be doing so much more?” said Damayanti Wallace. “In the mayor’s mind and the superintendent’s mind what it looks like is more police and that’s what makes people feel safer. But in our minds police make us feel a lot less safe.”

The students are demanding greater investment in their communities and they’re speaking out against what they see as wasteful spending.

“They have plans on building a cop academy in the same area where you have schools being shut down constantly,” said Alycia Moaton.

After the morning brainstorming, the Good Kids Mad City teens hit the streets and marched to the University of Chicago Trauma Center. There, with other young demonstrators, they remembered gun violence victims.

Many of these young activists involved in Friday’s events have lost loved ones or friends to gun violence.