In a stinging rebuke to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the National Action Network’s Illinois Chairman has criticized the mayor of raising millions in campaign contributions saying he should instead raise money to keep schools open and to provide resources for community programs.
The Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston was pointed in his remarks. “If Rahm can raise money for his campaign, he can raise money to replace resources that have been ripped from disadvantaged and challenged communities where senseless violence erupted once again this weekend.”
Livingston added: “School closings and union busting are just a few of the grave issues that affect this nature of violence.”
Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Chicago was rocked by its most violent weekend of the year, with 82 shootings and 16 deaths. The violence of the weekend not only stunned the nation, which has become accustomed to reports of gun violence in Chicago. But it has also caused another round of sober reflection among residents of the nation’s third largest city, who contend that more must be done to stem the violence.
In a press release, Livingston called for national civil rights leaders such as Marc Morial of the National Urban League, Cornell Brooks of the NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, to meet in Chicago for a national summit “on the violence that plagues urban American.”
The move by the Illinois Chapter of the National Action Network underscores the political problem the mayor is having with African-American voters in Chicago as he faces his first reelection campaign. Emanuel has been facing sagging poll numbers in terms of his support in the Black community.
Many local Black leaders have harshly criticized him for the highly controversial move by Chicago’s Board of Education to close about 50 schools around the city, many of them in Chicago’s predominantly Black and Latino South and West Sides.
Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan
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(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)