Mayor Johnson advocates for long-term investments to tackle gun violence

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CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson says he’s focused on long-term investments to help solve the city’s ongoing issue with gun violence.

Unlike Mayor Lightfoot, Mayor Brandon Johnson does not do accountability Mondays to analyze weekend violence. In fact, at an event on Monday, Johnson avoided commenting on shootings and murders over the past weekend. Instead, he highlighted investments.

But for the third straight weekend in Chicago, soaring summer violence.

‘Everybody wants to see tomorrow’: Weekend gun violence around Chicago leaves 8 dead, over 40 shot

According to police, eight people were killed and 44 were wounded in shootings between Friday night and Sunday. Eight of the victims were 18 or younger.

Arguing there’s no quick fix, and that the city must get at the root causes of violence, Mayor Johnson is diverting resources to long-suffering neighborhoods.

On Monday, on the West Side, the mayor helped break ground on the Austin HOPE Center, a place where residents can access mental health care and community programming.

“As a proud Austin resident, I could not be more proud to be here for the first steps of the new Austin Community Health Hub because it is a hub, it’s not a one-off project, this is a vision for the entire West Side,” Johnson said.

The Johnson administration safety plan includes $100 million for violence prevention, massive youth employment and 400 new civilian police positions. But as the mayor implements his strategy, some city leaders have grown restless.

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“We have to have this tool to try to break up these large gatherings before they turn violent,” Alderman Brian Hopkins (2ndWard) said.

Appearing on WGN-TV Political Report, Hopkins, who represents downtown Streeterville, pushed for an 8 p.m. curfew for most teens, following an incident when a couple was physically attacked while walking down the street.

“The curfew is designed to go after the large groups of young people that gather for no purpose, hundreds of them taking over the streets or the sidewalk on a summer night,” Hopkins said.

Mayor Johnson dismissed the curfew, telling the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board: “The data indicates that setting arbitrary curfews does not yield results that are favorable.”

When the Sun-Times asked the mayor about ShotSpotter, he said: “I canceled ShotSpotter. Why? Because it was proven to be ineffective.”

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