By Anna Lothson
Oak Park Trustee Ray Johnson used his time at the end of the July 22 board meeting to address the alarming pattern of violence in the area, specifically following the news of the third teen from Oak Park who was shot and killed last week.
He also expressed anger about comments on the issue that blamed the victim, a fact he said was not only troubling but misdirected. Johnson requested that the Community Relations Commission take this time to open up a real dialogue about violence, race and class in the community. More importantly, he noted, a conversation between Oak Parkers and Chicagoans needs strengthening.
"These borders are artificial borders," Johnson stressed. "[The shootings] are literally happening in our backyard." He also reminded his colleagues that Oak Park must not become a bubble, asking, "Is this the time and place for Oak Park to try and start a conversation?"
Yes, it most certainly is, the trustee concluded.
Here at Wednesday Journal, we're also interested in opeing up an educated dialogue on the subject. If you have thoughts on the subject, email staff reporter Anna Lothson at Anna@oakpark.com or call 708-613-3311.