The members of the Jacksonville City Council led by District 8 Councilwoman Denise Lee, made their points Tuesday night by speaking in righteous indignation about the problems of violence in the city.
On Monday night a six year old was wounded in what appears to be another drive-by shooting. Council districts 7,8,9 and 10 hold this month’s record for the most shootings.
Councilwoman Lee’s Blight Committee continues to meet in an effort to find ways to stem the tide of violence that grips these areas of town. There appears to be no end in sight. Lee suggests that the formation of Community Associations for them may be one answer. The key will be finding the money to fund such Associations.
Councilman Johnny Gaffney, who represents District 7, once known as a major haven for drug dealing and violence, raised his voice in frustration over the lack of real action to deal with the issues of poverty that perpetuate the feeling of helplessness many residents have in dealing with the day to day issues of living in a constant state of fear and frustration. A frustration that says “nobody cares.”
So far no arrests have been made in the 19 shootings that have occurred in the first 12 days of August.
For its part, the Council’s Finance Committee is recommending that the Sheriff not get the 40 Police Officers recommended by the Mayor’s Office in the next budget. Is this a good start?
The talk goes to the fact that all this is all talk and very little action. Lee seems to want the tearing down or clearing out of the convenience store which doubles as a rooming house, at 13th and Myrtle for starters. But there is no action behind the rhetoric.
The shootings in Jacksonville have not reached the tension and frustration level currently experienced in Chicago on the national level. But violence is violence no matter where it is. Its’ always worse, however, where you live because you live with it.
The question is whether the City Council will “speech” the problem to death or will they act on their speeches and do something about it. It looks doubtful that they will do anything more than “speech” it to death.