CHICAGO – During a House Appropriations -Public Safety Committee hearing this week, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, expressed the necessity of restoring funding to the lifesaving CeaseFire program.

“The village of Maywood is home to the longest operating CeaseFire program that exists outside the city of Chicago,” said Welch. “It is tragic that the program was forced closed down due to Gov. Rauner’s decision to defund the program. Once again, the governor shows that he doesn’t care about what happens to our community.”

Welch is a strong proponent of the CeaseFire program, which aims to curb violence in some of Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods and operates in numerous communities across the state, such as Maywood. Youth Outreach Services manages the CeaseFire program in Maywood. Program workers visit communities affected by gun violence and work with residents to find stable jobs and treatment for drug abuse. Through executive order issued by Gov. Rauner in 2015, state funding for the program was suspended. The governor’s subsequent budget proposals have also eliminated funding for the service. Meanwhile, violent crime in Chicago and other communities in Illinois has risen sharply, gaining national attention. Welch was among the legislators who attended the committee hearing this week who demanded that the governor’s administration restore funding for CeaseFire immediately.

“Apparently, the governor believes that funding for CeaseFire is not necessary,” said Welch. “The program helps reduce violence and save lives through their direct presence in our community. Additionally, it helps individuals caught in terrible situations the resources they need to help them find jobs and learn how to get involved in the community to bring about positive change in their lives. We need more investments like this, not less.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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