The women’s Council of Community Intercession established by 5th Senate District Democratic candidate Dr. Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, held its first meeting Monday, July 10, 2012 at Wallace Catfish Corner. The citywide group of women rallying around the need for bold and immediate action regarding the issue of public safety, human rights and self-determination. Dr. Watkins declared that we need a Movement.
The Council events will be held in churches, businesses, and other public locations to raise awareness about the dismal state of many Chicago communities and the role of women restoring peace.
Many of the women expressed their anger and helplessness over the killings in the community. They expressed a need to maintain street level engagement by continuing Ceasefire, Safe Passage, Watchful Eyes, and other programs. Mediums of this sort are designed to interact with people in the community and utilize street level encounters to address violence and improve public safety.
The facilitators of the evening M. Valencia Pringle and Mrs. Tracelli Rockford kept the program organized and moving. Evangelist Veronica Adams gave a rousing message. Denise Berry explained how little a prisoner being released from jail is given to return to society.
They talked about the biggest downfall of our criminal justice system, the state has failed to plan for the successful reentry of the mass numbers of ex-prisoners that they release back to communities, Nor do they prepare the communities to receive them. As the old adage goes, if you fail to plan then you have planned to fail. The community must demand resolute action on this point if we are to improve public safety in our communities.
The purpose of the group is to bring attention to the matters that challenge the standard of living in our communities. To enlist leading women of faith that are willing and ready to go to the battle lines to fight for justice and fairness for our community and to defend our human rights.
The group also plan to engage skillful women to craft a collective strategy that improves the standard of living in our communities and calls into question those in authority who resist our claims of justice and fairness.
27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett gave a heartfelt testimony of family and how the drugs and violence effects all families. He advised mothers not to accept drug money from their children, this is ruining families.
The killers are people we know. Some of them are family members. We must not sit by and watch our community be destroyed.
Other men who dropped by in support of the women, 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti, Pastor Richard Nelson, Greater Open Door Church, CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman.
Special thanks to Ms. Nedra Johns, Min. Louvenia Hood, Min. Johnnie Taylor, Ms. Kevie Lusby and Min. Gertha Lusby.