I received an e-mail from Wallace "Gator" Bradley, regarding an e-mail that was being circulated regarding a proposed Monday afternoon meeting with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr at Rainbow/PUSH regarding solutions to crime, assuming that I was overlooked and may indeed be welcome to this Monday's meeting or to provide some input.
The first things that sticks out to me are "activists" and "community organizers" missing from the subject matter, text of the meeting and systematic part of the plan of action. Seems like we sre setting ourselves up for yet another "paralysis of analysis" meeting that ends with no real clear target for grassroots mobilization for action.
Those us who were a part of the declaration of Chicago being in a "State Of Emergency," should now me mobilizing for "specific" agenda targets that can be measured for short and long term objectives.
The short term solution is that this desperate economic situation in our urban areas have an economic response. If what Chicago is experiencing what many have now labled as "urban terrorism," then why cannot we think outside the box in issuing a public challenge to our elected officials to DEMAND that we can allocate federal funds from the "Anti-Terrorism" budget and provide some clear and hands-on alternatives this summer for our youth and adults that will effectively turn them away from the gang, drug, and illegal street economies and activities that make up the "urban terrorism." Federal intervention does not have to be just proposals for National Guard, or more law enforcement.
One Billion dollars can create up to 50,000 jobs, enough to target crime intervention and prevention, mentors, peace patrols, and other local job creation. The strategy should be to prepare a massive direct action event that attracts our elected officials and other leaders and The White House for an IMMEDIATE response to this special funding allocation and where those funds would be immediately targeted to divert attention away from the constituencies attracted to "urban terrorist" activities.
Specifically, there are dozens of community based organizations that target at-risk youth and ex-offendors and have secured their 501C3 status and GREEN certification with dozens of unfunded proposals to create thousands of local green jobs through using vacant lots and transforing them inth community gardens. Lets rally for that!
Or maybe Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade, and other noted Chicagoans could be be publicly convinced to help address this summer violence prevention with several million dollars to immediately generate thousands of summer jobs for our youth and re-establishing many of the institutional efforts needed that have beeb long promoted by Dr. Carl Bell, that the Black community can claim and direct to one of our insitutions like Kenndy King or Chicago State and NOT become some new million dollar proposal extension of a CeaseFire.
We have doing this too long to come together and meet to "review and analyze" where we are, but to present some specific plans that we could organize the largest demonstration for emergency funding to address this State of Emergency. Marching with over 2,000 people with Father Pfleger last week had as usual, hundreds of youth coming up to the organizers asking about real jobs versus drugh selling and other street economies, for saying "Stop The Violence" is NOT enough. We have to think, organize, and strategize out the box. How can the President or our wealthiest citizens continue to remain speechless as Chicago continues to explode as the Murder Capital Of The World?? Especially after we organize the largest demonstration on behalf of the poor this City has ever seen?
Finally, I again suggest if I am asked to help, to help mobilize grassroots community organizers to be a part of the meeting, for what good does another strategy meeting accomplish if those "organizers" and "activists" who represent the least of Gods people are not at the table??
Mark S. Allen
Associate Editor, The South Street Journal Newspaper
Founder/President, The Black Leadership Development Institute, BLDI
Board Member, The Chicago Music Heritage Museum
Board Member, The Black Wall Street-Chicago Project, Social Consciousness Consultant to United In Peace
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