CHICAGO – Chicago’s July 4th holiday was once again afflicted by gun violence across the city, including 7-year-old Natalia Wallace and 14-year-old Vernado Jones. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement in reaction to the devastating events that took place.

“I have dedicated my career to the idea that every child deserves a quality education, a transformative tool they can use to better themselves. Then, tragedies like the killings of Natalia Wallace and Vernado Jones happen, and we are once again facing the dark reality that our children are not safe enough to benefit from any education.

“However, it has become far too easy to just blame the individuals who shot the murder weapon. The problem we are facing is much larger. This violence is used to paint Black people as inherently bad, when the government has failed to address inequities facing impoverished, neglected and deprived communities.

“It takes a miracle to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you are working against the weight of every system in our country. Our current movement is about recognizing that, and in the memory of children like Natalia and Vernado, let’s do something about it.”

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