CHICAGO – October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined parents, lawmakers and neighborhood activists to stress the need for more anti-violence programs for youths and to highlight the positive influence such efforts have on the community. Governor Quinn was joined by Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), who has been a strong voice in the Illinois General Assembly for violence-prevention programs.
“I’m proud to join staunch advocates like Rep. Yarbrough who are working to confront violence in our neighborhoods,” said Governor Quinn. “We must continue to support programs that strengthen our communities and provide our children with alternatives to risky behavior.”
As Chairwoman of the Public Safety Appropriations Committee, Rep. Yarbrough has fought for increased funding for violence prevention throughout Cook County and Illinois. Rep. Yarbrough is also among the first to recognize the value of early intervention programs, which use trained mediators to diffuse tense situations before they become deadly.
“Young people who see violence every day need prevention programs and caseworkers to show them that it’s not worth getting mixed up with gangs,” said Rep. Yarbrough. “These programs help youth get back on the right track by providing new ways to resolve conflicts.”
Last month, Governor Quinn announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services will receive nearly $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Justice Assistance Grant funding. This funding will support evidence-based programs that help reduce community violence. Programs that will receive the funding include those that focus on child welfare, youth violence prevention and juvenile delinquency prevention and reduction programs.
Governor Quinn was also joined today by Hon. Henderson Yarbrough, Mayor of the Village of Maywood; Gary Slutkin, Executive Director of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention and CeaseFire; Barbara Cole, Director of Maywood Youth Mentoring; Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, Senior Pastor at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero); Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago); Rep. Deborah Graham (D-Chicago); Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago); Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago); and Rep. Robert Rita (D-Crestwood).