(July 7, 2022 – Chicago) On behalf of the members of Illinois Latino Agenda 2.0 and our respective
organizations, we are once again grief-stricken and outraged by the gun violence epidemic shattering
the lives of families and crippling our communities with fear.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and survivors of the awful Fourth of July
mass shooting in Highland Park.


Celebrating Independence Day is a welcomed tradition of time spent making memories with family
enjoying music, cookouts, fireworks, parades, and other festivities. It is also a day of reflection to
contemplate what freedom means to us as members of this beautiful quilt of blended cultures united by
the American flag, embracing American values.


Now the images of young and old smiling faces lining the streets of Highland Park to cheer floats and
marching bands that quickly turned to looks of horror and screams of terror are unfortunately part of
July Fourth memories.


The downrush of gun violence that has become frighteningly commonplace in America continues to
deny us freedom of assembly, freedom to enjoy and have productive lives in our society, and freedom to
live.


This weekend in Chicago, where living in violence is sadly commonplace, eight people were killed and 68
wounded, a reduction of 18 dead and 92 shot in 2021. But the Summer has just started, and we are
bracing for the number of victims to soar.


As Highland Park joins Buffalo, Uvalde, and other communities forever broken by mass shootings and
national attention again focuses on our country’s unique gun problem, we demand better.
We Demand a special legislative session in Springfield for lawmakers to immediately address:
● Ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines.
● Create an assault weapons registry.
● Demand mandatory fingerprinting on FOID cards.


It is time to bring about policies to keep all our communities safe from gun violence. Once again,
we have proved that guns and assault weapons in the wrong hands are lethal and have no
geographical boundaries, and do not discriminate
While Congress tried to develop a landmark bipartisan bill addressing gun violence after 26 years, our
concerns were barely met.


The killing of seven people and 37 wounded in Highland Park are sadly part of the prevalent gun
violence culture in the U.S. We are disheartened to learn that among the victims are the grandfather
and the boyfriend of health volunteers at the non-profit Mano a Mano.
After 2 1/2 years of Covid19, the isolation, violence, and gun violence have increased, and it is also cause
for immediate action in our cities and state’s mental health services.
ILA 2.0 is compelled to DEMAND better self-monitoring of platforms that, while enjoying their success,
should fully embrace the responsibility that comes with their growth and how it affects vulnerable
minds and people searching for a place and ideology to fit in. It can not only be about profits…it’s about
lives.


We once again urge our local governments and philanthropy to increase resources for mental health
services so that no person who needs it goes without. A number of our organizations provide mental
health services– with language and cultural competence– to victims of crime and potential
perpetrators. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the value of reducing crime through trauma-informed services.
The members of the ILA 2.0 are dedicated to making impactful change. By supporting common-sense
gun measures, greater access to mental health services, and holistic youth programming, we aim to
ensure that all recently lost are remembered through collective action.


In solidarity, July 6th, 2022
The Illinois Latino Agenda 2.0
About the Illinois Latino Agenda 2.0


The ILA 2.0 is a non-partisan coalition that works to advance the Latino community’s economic, political,
and social prosperity. For more information on the coalition, please visit
https://www.latinopolicyforum.org/issues/leadership/ila or contact Jose Marco-Paredes at jmarcoparedes@latinopolicyforum.org