Bill Text: IL HR0433 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Urges that violence be labeled as a disease and treated as a public health crisis.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 29-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-01 - Added Co-Sponsor Rep. Luis Arroyo [HR0433 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HR0433-Introduced.html

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2 WHEREAS, In the State of Illinois, two thirds of gun
3violence is related to suicide, and one third is related to
4homicide, claiming approximately 12,000 lives a year; and
5 WHEREAS, Violence has plagued communities, predominantly
6poor and distressed communities in urban settings, which have
7always treated violence as a criminal justice issue, instead of
8a public health issue; and
9 WHEREAS, On February 21, 2018, Pastor Anthony Williams was
10informed that his son, Nehemiah William, had been shot to
11death; and
12 WHEREAS, Due to this disheartening event, Pastor Anthony
13Williams reached out to state Rep. Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez,
14urging that the issue of violence be treated as a disease; and
15 WHEREAS, In 2018, elected officials from all levels of
16government started a coalition to address violence as a
17disease, with the assistance of faith-based organizations,
18advocates, and community members and held a statewide listening
19tour from August 2018 to April 2019; and
20 WHEREAS, The listening tour consisted of stops on the South

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1Side and West Side of Chicago, in Maywood, Springfield, and
2East St. Louis, with a future scheduled visit in Danville; and
3 WHEREAS, During the statewide listening sessions,
4community members actively discussed neighborhood safety,
5defining violence and how and why violence occurs in their
6communities; and
7 WHEREAS, The listening sessions provided different
8solutions to address violence, however, all sessions confirmed
9a disconnect from the priorities of government and the needs of
10these communities; and
11 WHEREAS, In the 100th General Assembly, the Safe and Full
12Employment (SAFE) Act was filed in order create a process to
13identify high-violence communities and prioritize state
14dollars to go to those communities to fund programs that would
15address the underlying causes of crime and violence; and
16 WHEREAS, Due to a variety of reasons, including in
17particular the State's budget impasse, funds were unavailable
18to establish such comprehensive policy; and
19 WHEREAS, Policies like the SAFE Act are needed in order to
20provide communities that have historically suffered from
21divestment, poverty, and incarceration with smart solutions

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1that can solve the plague of violence; and
2 WHEREAS, It is clear that violence is a public health
3problem that needs to treated as such, a disease; and
4 WHEREAS, Research has shown that when violence is treated
5in such a way, then its effects can be slowed or even halted;
6therefore, be it
9we stand together with the victims of violence and their loved
10ones who are being plagued by this disease in communities
11across Illinois, and that we urge that violence be labeled and
12treated as a public health crisis in order to effectively
13address it; and be it further
14 RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
15delivered to Pastor Anthony W. Williams of the First
16Congregational Church of Berwyn.