SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Recent legislation sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, that creates a statewide task force to develop employment opportunities for young people recently passed, and a measure aimed at funding violence prevention programs recently moved to the House floor for a vote.
“This is a great victory for our underemployed youth across Illinois,” said Harper. “This taskforce will be equipped to tackle unemployment issues and try to line up opportunities for young adults who are wanting to work hard. Now the fight is to ensure that anti-violence programs have the funds necessary to combat crime on the streets, saving people and their families from senseless crimes.”
Harper is the chief sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 10, which was recently adopted by both legislative chambers. The Task Force on Developing Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults will study available opportunities for unemployed youth, and explore ways to do the much needed street level outreach to youth and young adults who are unemployed.
Another measure sponsored by Harper passed out of the House Appropriations-Public Safety Committee, and will be considered on the House floor. House Bill 4008 would provide $2 million in funding to community based organizations that handle violence prevention, job training, youth sports, library workshops and more. Harper believes that these policies will help young adults find employment while also enhancing existing public safety programs and motivate young people to turn away from a life of crime.
“When kids have opportunities to become invested in their communities, violence decreases,” Harper said. “Violence does not go away all by itself, and there needs to be stable programs in place that actively combat a life of crime at every corner. Our kids deserve the best possible opportunities, and so I urge my colleagues to vote on this and send it to the governor.”