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Chicago is working on long-term strategies to reduce violence – Chicago Tribune

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As part of a weekly editorial series on solutions to gun violence written by a group of religious leaders, the Tribune recently published a column (“Chicagoans deserve an office dedicated to ending gun violence.” July 15) in which religious leaders called for the creation of an office to prevent gun violence. While we understand the desire for a solution focused solely on community violence, the city is already working to create large-scale, long-term strategies to reduce violence.

A key part of this effort is Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Community Safety Coordination Center, or CSCC, which was established in 2021 and coordinates efforts to address gun violence. The CSCC is taking lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and applying them to the city’s most pressing epidemic: gun violence.

As the lead focal point for community safety, I see the numbers – and the effects – of gun violence every day. They are shocking and heartbreaking.

But in just over a year, we’ve made encouraging progress: We’ve worked extensively in 15 neighborhoods with higher rates of violence. In some of these communities, like Austin and North Laundle, we’re seeing a 49% drop in shootings. For comparison, the citywide shooting rate is down about 20% compared to last year.

Lightfoot management has already made historic investments in violence reduction to complement the work many organizations already do. CSCC will be funded through 2024, giving us time to strategically allocate city resources, build relationships, and most importantly, ensure that community voices are represented and heard.

There is still a lot of work to do, and we will need everyone to play a role in reducing gun violence.

– Tamara Mahal, Chief Coordinating Officer for Community Safety, Chicago

As a proud disabled woman, I am delighted that July is Disability Pride Month. Persons with disabilities exist in all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religious affiliations, and sexual orientations. Throughout U.S. history, people with disabilities have fought against segregated schools, institutionalization, exclusion and blatant discrimination in all areas of life.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, was passed to ensure that students with disabilities are properly educated in the least restrictive environments. In 1977, a sit-in lasting nearly a month in the San Francisco office of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare led to the signing of regulations regarding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Without a doubt, our crowning achievement was the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures equal access for people with disabilities in employment, local and state government, public accommodations, transportation and other areas of life such as communications.

As the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the ADA passes, I think about how far we’ve come, but I never forget how far we still have to go in fulfilling the law’s promise, which is equal access and equal opportunity for all Americans. How fortunate I am to be a junior player in this endeavor.

Pam Heavens, Juliet

The Medical Cannabis Program was created to provide patients with the products needed to treat specific medical problems. Initially, those who needed to participate in the program were asked to submit papers supporting their claims of legitimate need. These papers were submitted by mail, but are only submitted online now. There is no way to submit a renewal, a new application via mail, or a combination of the two.

During online registration, many things can go wrong, and in my case, it happens regularly. When the online process fails, there is no backup, leaving the patient to either give up and lose their current medical certificate. When I could not complete the online process, my medical card expired, and I was left with no options other than the online process that actually failed. The bureaucrats at the Ministry of Public Health are no less concerned and have stuck to the plan online only. We patients have a system that was created to support our needs, but now it only serves the needs of the program bureaucrats.

This system has become a fiasco, especially for those of us who are not constantly on the lookout for technology and/or processes. There should be a manual method still available for those patients who cannot navigate the confusing and erratic process online.

– Bob Morris, Spring Grove

The editorial of the same-sex marriage bill is incorrect (“After Dobbs, same-sex marriage can be threatened. Congress is right to legalize it.” 24 July). Respect for Marriage Act does not include Obergefell v. Hodges. It is narrower in scope.

The bill does three things: It repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, strengthens the full faith and trust clause that requires states to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states, and requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages that are legal at home. The state.

What the bill does not do is require the state to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.

Thus, if Obergefell is abolished, the state can revert to not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In this case, the same-sex couple will have to go to another state to get married to obtain a valid marriage license in the state in which they live.

– Ted Corpus, Berwyn

Join the conversation on our site Messages to the Editor Facebook group.

Send a letter of no more than 400 words to the editor over here or email Letters@chicagotribune.com.

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