Arne Duncan Wants Mayor To Invest More Money In Anti-Violence Initiatives

Nancy Harty
October 27, 2019 - 3:44 pm

Nancy Harty/ WBBM

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Days after she outlined her budget plan there's a push to get Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to spend $50 million on violence prevention programs. 

The mayor has earmarked $9 million to combat gun violence but Arne Duncan said that's not nearly enough.

Duncan, who previously served as the U.S. education secretary and chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, is now managing partner at the Emerson Collective, a social change organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs. Powell Jobs is the widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs. 

The Emerson Collective offers job training, resume writing help and conflict resolution through its Creating Real Economic Destiny, or CRED, program.

Duncan said $50 million is a small portion of what the city spends on public safety and it would reap benefits in terms of lower violence and the reverse migration he claimed is leading families out of Chicago.

Bishop Larry Trotter surrounded himself with children in the pulpit at Sweet Holy Spirit Church on the South Side as he made an appeal for the money, saying "in their mindset, they won't live to be 16.  Because all their friends are getting shot down."

Brendan Taylor had seen violence and trouble before earning his high school diploma and getting a job through CRED.

Those achievements helped him stay on the straight and narrow after getting hit in the arm last year in a shooting that left a friend dead.

Duncan said New York and Los Angeles "spend much more" on gun violence prevention than Chicago. 

"This is a crisis but is one that other cities have solved. They've done much better than us," Duncan said.