Emergency Summit On Urban Violence Opens In Chicago Members of the Congressional Black Caucus hosted a day-long meeting on guns, youth and gang violence in Chicago. They plan to hold forums in New Orleans and Baltimore, and take a list of solutions to urban violence to Washington.
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Emergency Summit On Urban Violence Opens In Chicago

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Emergency Summit On Urban Violence Opens In Chicago

Emergency Summit On Urban Violence Opens In Chicago

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Chicago had more murders last year than any other city in America, which is why Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus met in Chicago yesterday to convene a national emergency summit on urban violence. And they vowed to take fresh solutions back to Washington. Natalie Moore of member station WBEZ in Chicago attended the forum and has this story.

NATALIE MOORE, BYLINE: Congresswoman Robin Kelly said this wouldn't just be another summit.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUMMIT)

(APPLAUSE)

MOORE: Kelly joined her colleagues at Chicago State University on the city's South Side. Kelly says Chicago's shootings are the tipping point that prompted the emergency summit. According to the police department, murders are down 24 percent from last year. Overall violent crime is down.

But there have been a number of high-profile homicides - many involving young people - that have alarmed leaders and garnered national attention. More than 200 people attended the daylong forum on urban violence. The proliferation of guns and the impact on youth were discussed - issues that go beyond Chicago. Oft-repeated problems and solutions were echoed from fiery community leaders.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUMMIT)

MOORE: Education, parenting, mentoring and community reinvestment were repeated over and over. But no new or specific solutions were offered during the eight-plus hours of the forum. Many needed the time to vent. And anything elected officials come up face a contentious Congress that is cutting government programs.

Still, Congressional Black Caucus leaders say ending violence is a priority. They want crime in black communities to garner the same support and sympathy as the Newtown school shootings. Danny Davis represents the West Side of Chicago. He says curbing violence won't be a quick cure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUMMIT)

MOORE: Elected officials say Chicago may be the first stop in a national tour around urban violence, with New Orleans and Baltimore next on the list. Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters says leaders need to show love to young people.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUMMIT)

MOORE: That plan has yet to be developed. For NPR news, I'm Natalie Moore in Chicago.

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