The Chicago Police and Park District organized a stop the violence forum in Back of the Yards on Saturday, Nov. 21st. It was organized fairly last minute, but youth from Nuevos Exitos attended and brought the finished Peace Quilt (see past blog post). You can see the quilt in the photo, hanging behind Police Commissioner Weis and Alderman Cardenas. Cassandra Cortes, Chicago Commons Youth Specialist, is speaking.
The forum gave several parents a chance to voice their specific frustrations to the Police Department which will probably result in some targeted follow up for them. But, last minute forums like this one probably do little to stem the tide of violence. Commissioner Weis acknowledge this, stating that the police can only be as aggressive combating violence as the neighborhood will allow. To that end, Commons must seek more ways to engage with the police, parents and others in an ongoing way. Ongoing communication within the neighborhood is the only true solution, and much harder than it sounds.