Speaker Welch Meets With President Joe Biden, Addresses Recent Rise in Violence – House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch met with President Joe Biden during his recent trip to Illinois where he discussed the “Build Back Better” agenda, specifically proposals focused on education and child care.
“I was incredibly inspired to hear our president discuss the great possibilities of our future,” said Welch. “These investments in human infrastructure are exactly what our working families need. The president laid out that he plans to increase Pell Grants, offer free community college to first-time students and workers, and make investments in apprenticeship programs.”
“To truly build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, to truly deal everybody in this time, we need to invest in our people,” President Biden said.
Just before the president landed in Illinois, three law enforcement officers were shot on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Biden expressed his personal support for the officers, and also conveyed his commitment to work with stakeholders against gun violence. Speaker Welch got the chance to speak to the president where he reiterated the need for structural reform to truly end the violence.
“I got the chance to meet with the president one-on-one, and one of the issues I raised was our violence,” said Welch. We have to invest in these communities that have been traditionally disinvested. We have to really address these systems from the root, in a fundamental, structural way.”
Speaker Welch said there is the need to immediately address safety concerns, which includes making sure our police are properly trained, funded and equipped to respond to violence. He also noted that there were key policies passed during this legislative session that will help provide assistance to the communities that have been plagued by violence, many of which have seen continuous divestment and those who live there deal with issues rooted in poverty.
“We in the legislature increased our anti-violence funding by 40% in this state budget,” said Welch. “We also invested in our local police officers by providing grants and training seminars that give them the tools they need to protect our communities. We’ve also included millions for affordable housing, homelessness prevention and other anti-violence programs. There isn’t just one approach to combating this violence, but I am committed to making sure we take the proper and necessary steps in Springfield to uplift our communities and result in lasting change.”
Speaker Welch Meets With President Joe Biden, Addresses Recent Rise in Violence