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Letter to President Obama: Please help address city violence

11-20-03 StellFoster columist. Phoby Jim Frost Sun-Times.

11-20-03 Stella Foster, columist. Photo by Jim Frost Sun-Times.

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Updated: July 23, 2012 6:48AM



P RESIDENT OBAMA, you came into your hometown of Chicago last weekend to attend the backyard wedding of the daughter of your personal friend and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in your Kenwood neighborhood. I am sure the affair was lovely and heartwarming. Hopefully your schedule, one day soon, will allow you to return to Chi-Town to spearhead an anti-violence rally of huge proportions to speak out against the senseless gun violence that has overwhelmed various areas of our city, such as in Englewood and the Ogden District on the West Side.

OUR CRIME stats are bringing such shame to our beautiful city that folks elsewhere are kiddingly referring to Chicago as “the wild, wild west.” Our police officers and tactical units can’t keep up with the crime wave, and citizens are too scared to speak up for fear of retaliation. Chicagoans and police have been dealing with what we now call “bloody weekends” and law-abiding people are cringing in their homes, afraid to venture out for fear of being robbed, shot or worse.

ON THAT weekend when you were here June 15-17, six people were killed and 31 others were shot. In fact, there have been more than 200 killings in this city in 2012 and hundreds of shootings. Please don’t get mad at the messenger because I truly do care that our people — yes, I said “our people” or minorities — are continuing to hurt, kill and disrespect each other, especially when the hot sun comes out to play.

I VOTED for you, Mr. President, and now I am personally asking you to care enough to come back to Chicago and speak out. Who knows, coming straight from the president’s mouth may just deter potential criminal activity or touch the soul of a person contemplating killing someone! I know all about the high unemployment and the bad economy — but killing is not the answer!

I AM SURE that the overworked doctors, nurses and staff in the emergency rooms in Chicago and suburban hospitals are tired of removing bullets from victims and/or having to tell families their loved ones didn’t make it!

BUT, Mr. President, if you can’t make it, I will certainly understand and will continue to catch you whenever you are on the news and on talk shows. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy are working overtime trying to make it safer in this city for all citizens. And even if you never read or see this plea, just know you are so loved in Chicago and the thugs just might listen to you.

Yeah, I said it!

BIRTHDAYS: Kathleen Henson, Fred Rosen and Megan Mawicke.



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