Governor Pat Quinn visited the Chicago State University Campus during the Will Bynum
Basketball Camp this week to sign new legislation that will create a task force to
combat the epidemic of violence impacting today's youth.
The bill was sponsored by State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and State
Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), and creates the Violence Prevention Task Force.
Among its duties, the task force is charged with preventing violence by raising awareness
of job opportunities for at-risk youth, assisting religious and community groups and
organizations whose mission is to curb violence, and coordinating with mental health
providers to assure that they are present in communities that need them.
"If we want to reduce violence, we must have the political will to do more than be
tough on crime," Representative Ford said. "We must also become a more fair and just
society and help meet the needs of every member of our community. This task force
will work together with the House Committee on Restorative Justice that I chair to
help give people hope and the ability to turn their lives around, which will make
our neighborhoods safer."
"Youth violence has devastated our nation as homicide is now the 2nd leading cause
of death for youth ages 15 to 29, and the epidemic is particularly rampant in Chicago,"
Senator Hunter said. "We must act now because more adolescents are killed in Chicago
than any other U.S. city is simply unacceptable. We owe it to our children to do our
best to protect them."