SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is taking action to address the growing issue of gun violence and crime in Illinois by supporting legislation to declare violence as a public health crisis.
“Gun violence is a serious problem that plagues communities all over the state, and we must take the steps needed to combat it,” Hernandez said. “When there is a national outbreak of an infectious disease, we act immediately to stop it from spreading. We should be acting this swiftly when it comes to the violence in our communities as well.”
Hernandez backed House Resolution 433, which urges public officials to use the same sense of urgency with crime as they do with any other public health crisis. This resolution also encourages the State of Illinois to prioritize funds for communities with the highest rates of violent crime throughout the state, specifically by implementing projects designed to find the root causes of violence. Amid the multiple mass shootings that have occurred all over the country in the last five years, several medical groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have called upon lawmakers to acknowledge violence as a severe threat to the public.
“I have seen and heard of too many tragedies in our community, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make our neighborhoods safer,” Hernandez said. “It is time that we work together to reduce crime in the most vulnerable communities, and I believe that this legislation can help us take necessary steps toward effective change.”