Diverse Group Attends Commissioner Gordon’s Inaugural Violence Prevention Advisory Council (Markham, IL) — In response to Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon’s call to prevent violence, a diverse group of government, community and business leaders took part in an inaugural advisory council luncheon to address what she considers to be the single most important issue facing residents.
Last year, Cook County alone saw over 1,000-gun violence victims. It is the leading cause of death among children, teens and young adults under 25-years-old.
The 5th District Commissioner, whose district includes parts of Chicago’s far South Side and the south suburbs, said gun violence has become especially pervasive, devastating communities already struggling with inequality, disinvestment and lack of emergency health services. Gordon said combating violence will take everyone fighting together.
“We no longer have the luxury of hiding behind our ZIP code. Just because you live on the North Side, where the homicide rate is lower than Evanston, Champaign and Springfield doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about Austin, where the murder rate has climbed 274% since 2010 or Garfield Park, where the rate has increased 114%, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab,” emphasized Commissioner Gordon.
In 2021, 90% of all homicides were from guns. Stroger Hospital cared for nearly 1,100 patients with gunshot wounds at an average cost of $30,000-$50,000 per victim. That comes to an annual expenditure of $30 – $40 million in initial hospital treatment, not including extensive outpatient rehabilitation and mental health care, which many patients require.
The issue is not just about safety, it is the price all Cook County residents are paying. The informal luncheon allowed those in attendance to be very candid about what they see and believe needs to be done from their respective vantage points.
“Your involvement, as elected officials, community and business leaders, is what it’s going to take to stop this growing public health crisis called violence. We must get to the root causes and determine how to address it from every angle. Government is not the only solution, but it’s part of the solution.”
Gordon wants the Violence Prevention Advisory Council to tackle all forms of violence–including physical violence, sexual violence, elder abuse and the disappearance of Black women and girls.
In attendance at the inaugural advisory council meeting were:
Chico Tillmon, University of Chicago Crime Lab
Nancy Huynh, State of Illinois
Bob Jackson, Roseland Ceasefire
Ryan Gougis, Roseland Ceasefire
Kenneth Johnson, Roseland Ceasefire
Early Walker, Don’t Shoot
Jason Hernandez, Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Marlon Parks, Undersheriff, CCSO
Bamani Obadele, Acclivus
Mia Carter, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly’s Office
Jaclin Davis, Cook County Southland Juvenile Justice Council
Brenda Mitchell, pastor, CCSJJC
De’Andre Rucker, Rucker and Rucker
Darryl Bogard, Illinois State Police
Lionel Brown, ISP
Chief Kamara N
Nicole Scott, American Association of Single Parents, Inc.
Avik Das, Justice Advisory Council
Dion Madkins, Hit It Straight Golf Academy
Willie Darkreid, Riverdale Police Chief
Dasheka Cade, School nurse, parent, local minister
Jeffrey Hester, IMPAC Foundation
Gordon’s office plans to compile an advisory council directory as part of its ongoing report on strategic solutions to prevent violence. The group will be meeting regularly.
Diverse Group Attends Commissioner Gordon’s Inaugural Violence Prevention Advisory Council