Elected officials from Chicago, including U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, whose teen grandson was laid to rest over the weekend after becoming one of the latest victims of Chicago's violence, unveiled plans Monday they hope will lower the growing number of shootings and deaths in the city.
Davis was joined by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, state Sen. Kwame Raoul, Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Gov. Pat Quinn and others Monday at City Hall for what they said was a "major" announcement regarding Chicago's violence.
"The more I study the issue of gun violence, I am becoming more and more convinced that there is no panacea, no silver bullet, no single answer to the call and no one solution," Davis said.
Still, he went on to claim that growing poverty levels in several of the city's most violence-plagued neighborhoods and easy access to guns are a major part of the problem.
"Declare poverty is an enemy no matter what your race, gender or ethnic background," he said.
Rev. Jesse Jackson called poverty a "weapon of mass destruction."
Davis and other elected officials pushed for the implementation of the 10-20-30 plan, which calls for 10 percent of development investments to be made in poverty communities, or those where 20 percent of the population have lived in, at or below the defined poverty level for 30 years or more.
"Large swaths of the residents in these communities are living in abject poverty and deal with Great Depression-levels of unemployment," Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin said in a statement. "This poverty breeds hopelessness and frustration. That coupled with easy access to guns and drugs has created combustible mix that has driven the spike in violence."
The group also called for the state to pass a budget.
"Without a budget the black communities continue to struggle the hardest," Rush said. "We are struggling in this city."
On Saturday, Davis also pushed for tougher gun laws and more investments in neighborhoods during the funeral for his 15-year-old grandson.
Javon Wilson was shot dead earlier this month after an argument over basketball shoes. Two juveniles — a 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl — have been charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bail.
Chicago has seen an increase in gun violence this year, with nearly 700 homicides and nearly 4,000 shooting victims.
At least 61 people were shot, nine of them fatally, over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
In August alone 91 people were killed, marking the deadliest month in the city in two decades.
"It is a state of emergency and it’s time for us to act," Boykin said.