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Be blue lights for our communities

A makeshift memorial is seen Chicago Tuesday March 12 2013 site where 6-month-old girl Jonylah Watkins her father known gang

A makeshift memorial is seen in Chicago, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at the site where 6-month-old girl Jonylah Watkins, and her father, a known gang member, were shot Monday, March 11. The girl, who was shot five times, died Tuesday morning. She became the

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Updated: April 14, 2013 6:34AM



On Monday, 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins was wounded from multiple gun shots while sitting in a car with her father at 65th and Maryland. She died Tuesday.

In prison, a child killer is an outcast. We cannot have a stronger value system in the prison system than in our communities. The solution to the senseless violence is complex, but one missing ingredient is our community drawing the line and saying enough is enough, we will not allow shooters and killers of our children to hide in our communities.

l am asking every church to ask their members this weekend to start a wave of concern and consciousness that pushes us to call police, churches, and community organizations with information to break the code of silence and turn in perpetrators of violence; whenever violence takes place this must become the new norm and not the exception. We must become the blue lights of our neighborhoods.

We must empower our members to be the voices in their communities to wake up, stand up, and speak up in order to eradicate this violence. in the pursuit of justice.

The Sun-Times rightly applauded the CHA’s work in improving the lives of Chicago’s low-income residents in the “CHA life gets better” editorial [Monday]. With improved public housing in safer neighborhoods, CHA residents are enjoying better rates of employment and of physical and mental health..

But the benefits of public housing are not being enjoyed by all of Chicago’s low-income residents — but that goal must be part of the CHA’s ambitious Plan for Transformation. Analysis from the Latino Policy Forum indicates that while 22 percent of local Latino families could qualify for CHA programs, just 11 percent are participating in public housing and 9 percent in housing choice voucher programs.

Chicago’s Latino population increased by 3 percent between 2000 and 2010, making it one of the only growing segments of an otherwise-shrinking city. During that same time period, the percentage of Illinois Latinos who are rent-burdened, applying an unsustainable 30 percent or more of their income toward housing costs, grew to more than half. As Latinos become a larger portion of Chicago’s low-income residents, making tough choices between paying the rent and putting food on the table, CHA must make a concerted effort to include them in their programs.

When the benefits of public housing are enjoyed by all Chicagoans who qualify, we’ll have true reason to celebrate “what CHA has done right.”

Juliana Gonzalez-Crussi,

housing policy analyst, Latino Policy Forum

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, pastor,

Faith Community of St. Sabina

Honor the pension plan

Every paycheck since April 16, 1990, I have paid my 9 percent pension contribution without fail while the city passed and delayed because the economy was so good to give you your new streets, sewers and other items ahead of schedule.

When I talked about living seven to 10 years less due to the physical stress of the job, I was told, “You knew that when you took the job.” When I talked about having to miss family functions due to the 24/7 nature of this job, I was told, “You knew that when you took the job.” When I talked about having to work weekends and you didn’t have to, I was told, “You knew that when you took the job.” When I complained about not getting Social Security because I was a government employee, I was told, “You knew that when you took the job.”

Now, when it comes to honoring the pension plan, I have a right to say, “You knew that when I took the job.”

James J. Raffae, Irving Park

Don’t forget other religions

Why is it that the media has given no more than 10 seconds coverage to appointment/election of other major religious denomination leadership positions, yet is providing around-the-clock coverage by thousands of reporters for weeks to election of the new pope?

David Schulz, Downers Grove



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