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City Shares Ideas From Anti-Violence Meeting

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl hosted a community meeting in early October to discuss ways to promote nonviolence following the shooting death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman.

Asked how to prevent violence in Evanston, residents say they want to offer more mentorship programs, increase job opportunities and create more programs for parents.

Those ideas are among 16 different proposals to come out of a community meeting Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl hosted Oct. 2, following the shooting death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman. 

Some 400 people packed the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center for the public discussion that night, meeting in small groups to share their ideas, then reporting back to everyone. 

Related: Nonviolence Meeting Brings Hundreds After Dajae’s Death 

Following the meeting, city staff gathered the input to determine major themes among the ideas proposed. They then posted the ideas discussed online at the city’s “Engage Evanston” website. The site allows community members to post their own ideas, comment on ideas that have already been shared and track progress on implementing proposals. 

Some of the ideas residents came up with include: 

  • Community dinners so residents can get to know their neighbors, held at community centers or schools around Evanston.
  • Mentorship programs to provide role models for teens and young adults. 
  • Classes for parents on everything from how to care for an infant to how to help your child apply for college—with special programs for single parents or teen parents. 
  • Improve the relationship between the police department and the community with more police on foot and bike controls, neighborhood watch programs, etc. 
  • Bring in groups like CeaseFire to teach conflict resolution, or have schools teach conflict resolution as part of their curriculum. 
  • Improve transportation for teens and young adults so they don’t have to be out walking on the streets, especially late at night.
  • Improve the city’s safety infrastructure with street lights, surveillance cameras and more emergency phones. 
  • Invest in programs to understand and combat gangs. Bring former gang members into the schools to talk about their experiences. 
  • Schools should teach teens more vocational skills, and the city could subsidize volunteer work for young adults without a job.

For the full list, visit the Engage Evanston website.

Dan Cox October 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM
That all sounds nice, but the real issue of Gun Safety and Gun Law Education was simply passed Over by the City, powers that be. Illinois will have Concealed Carry soon and there will Gun's in Women's Purse's, Car Consoles and Glove Boxes, etc. The level of misunderstanding of Gun's and how to treat one is sorely lacking in the Evanston and surrounding area. Children will be permanetly injured and Killed because they were never taught the simple Rules of what to do if you find a Gun... Stop, Don't Touch, Leave the area, Tell an adult what you found. Also the knowledge of how being caught with a Gun, will ruin your life, with a Felony Conviction is important information that our Teen Agers need to know. The Newspaper Writers are still mis-informing people that it is a misdemeanor, but it is really a Felony offense. AUUW/UUW Law. The Gun Law Training could include documentation that they attended the class, this could also be used as a deterrent to them committing the Weapons Violation, because they won't be able to plea ignorance of the Law in Court. They should be informed of that at the end of the class.
Jim October 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Didn't anyone mention concealed carry for Illinois?
Dan Cox November 01, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. An Off Duty Evanston Cop was ready to Arrest me for it too! A very open forum, Huh? The Meeting was controlled and oppressive to those who mentioned things not approved of by the Powers that be. I spoke to the Chief of Police about the matter and it was taken care of. Evanston is a prime example of what Ben Franklin meant, when he said "Those who will Sacrifice essential Liberty, for temporary Security, deserve neither Liberty, nor Security." 1775
Jim November 01, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Sounds like it was a feel good meeting. So nothing will change. Hopeless.
millie November 01, 2012 at 12:27 PM
did concealed carry stop the shootings in Wisconsin the last couuple of weeks?
Jim November 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM
No. But it might have had any of the vicims been armed. Apparentl concealed carry does decrease violent crime. Overall crime did decrease in the US in 2011, maybe because the other 49 states have concealed carry laws. Part of the problem in Illinois and Chicago and Evanston is the economy but then again, the Democrats control the state, the city of Chicago and the City of Evanston. Once the young lawyers, bankers, consultants, etc start moving out of the area, look out.
Sim Elwood November 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Why did the City Council shoot down the idea of converting the unused Recycling Center on Oakton into a youth sports complex? Wouldn't that make sense when we need more for kids to do? http://evanston.patch.com/articles/why-does-the-city-need-an-indoor-sports-facility
millie November 01, 2012 at 05:29 PM
The group that wants it should offer to buy it from the City.
Jim November 01, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Sim, you don't really expect the city council to do anything that makes sense, do you?
Sim Elwood November 01, 2012 at 08:01 PM
If it involves granting a liquor license they will be all over it. Thanks Jim.
Sim Elwood November 01, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Millie, the not for profit group offered to do the build-out, and maintain the building. They also agreed to pay to relocate the garbage cans stored there now. Some city council members summarily dismissed the idea without offering any counter proposal. They showed utter disregard for the idea, then went on to vote for 4 more new liquor licenses. If the city was interested in selling it, they made no ovation in that direction.
Dan Cox November 02, 2012 at 12:42 AM
millie, did the young man named Woodson ever get confronted by a Conceal Carry Citizen... Yes, and he turned tail and RAN! Perkins was caught with the Gun they had and is doing 2 years in Jail for it. Woodson , walked out of Court a free man and Killed an unarmed young Boy named Coleman, maybe you heard of the Murder, it happened in Evanston.

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