Church, education leaders call for $50 million anti-violence investment in Chicago

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CHICAGO — A high-profile South Side church leader got some high-powered help Sunday in calling for the City of Chicago to make a multi-million investment in violence prevention programs.

Former education secretary Arne Duncan Sunday joined Bishop Larry Trotter, the leader of The Congregation At Sweet Holy Sprit Sunday.

While Mayor Lori Lightfoot has allocated about $9 million for violence prevention programs, Trotter and Duncan believe that number needs to be closer to $50 million.

“If we want the kind of peace already seen in other cities we have to move in a very special way,” Duncan said.

“If we invest, not just incarcerate or police our young men, our city will be much much safer,” Trotter said.

Another speaker at the event was Brendan Taylor, who was introduced as an example of how targeted programs can work.

After some legal trouble and being on house arrest, he entered a program, got his GED and a job at Deloitte.

“We need help, we all need help… to keep this thing going,” Taylor said.

Duncan and Trotter say they’ve spoken to the mayor about their proposal but that’s as far as it’s gone. When asked where she’d find the extra money, Duncan said Chicago needs to fill the “peace deficit.”

“Every shooting in our city costs about a million dollars; police times, all the other costs, we can do better with just a small investment. We want a dramatic drop in violence,” Duncan said.

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