The following was written by Chicago journalist Curtis Black.
Pastors invoked the Battle of Jericho -with the Chicago Housing Authority as the wall keeping people out of their promised land - at an Interfaith Call to Action rally demanding preservation of public housing at Lathrop Homes last week.
"There's a barrier standing in the way of thousands of people who need a home," said Rev. Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue Church. "There's a barrier standing in the way of new homes in a land of promise...It's the Chicago Housing Authority."
As fellow pastors held up a wall with the letters "CHA" on it, Ray added, "CHA might as well stand for 'Can't House Anyone.'"
Chicago aldermen and immigrant advocates unveiled a list of proposals Tuesday aimed at improving the lives of immigrants across the city.
Issues of language access, legal representation, safety and services for immigrants are addressed in the Chicago Immigration Policy Working Group's six-point immigrant integration plan.
The newly-formed working group is comprised of three Chicago council members, Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), and 14 leading immigrant advocacy organizations such as the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Latino Policy Forum and the National Immigrant Justice Center.
"Two years ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that he is committed to making Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States," Ramirez-Rosa said at a Tuesday press conference. "As the Chicago Immigration Working Group, we share that commitment, and we're excited to get to work alongside the mayor to fulfill that goal."
Aspects of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin's 7-point plan to curb gun violence received mixed reactions at a summit the West Side politician held Saturday. The most contorversial part of the plan involves charging individuals who commit gun crimes as domestic terrorists.
The summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, was attended by city and county officials as well as academics and community activists. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were invited to the summit, but did not make an appearance. Boykin says the purpose of the summit was "to put meat on the bones" of his plan.
Boykin unveiled the gun violence prevention plan in May after he became concerned about the increasing number of shootings in his West Side district. Since the plan's release, Boykin has come under fire for the concept of charging individuals that shoot a gun, and their accomplices, as domestic terrorists. Boykin did not escape that criticism at Saturday's summit.