The year 2018 was busy for FCCGE and our partner institutions under DuPage United! Below summarizes some of our major accomplishments, but more compassionate efforts are needed to ensure these and future victories serve those who need our voice and action. If you have an interest in learning more about these issues, contact any of the DuPage United core members listed at the end of this article.
• Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training for Law Enforcement – DuPage United has led the way for:
• 410 police officers to be trained over the last year to identify and diffuse situations rather than incarcerate offenders with mental health issues. This resulted from a commitment DuPage United received three (3) years ago from the DuPage County State’s Attorney. State’s Attorney Berlin continues to encourage smaller county police forces to get the training. Said one officer, “I received 40 hours of crisis intervention training and I use it every day. I take hundreds of hours of shooting practice, and I have never drawn my gun once.”
• Increasing the utilization of DuPage County Health Department’s Crisis Stabilization Unit where it is now allowing drop offs from Wheaton Emergency Medical Services and continues to allow police to drop off non-violent offenders in crisis with mental health issues.
• Use of a new grant of the U.S. Department of Justice to further develop sustainable solutions to divert individuals with serious mental health issues from the criminal justice system.
• Gaining commitment of political leaders in Chicago, DuPage, Lake and Kane Counties, to require insurance company reimbursements for mental health treatment in less costly crisis stabilization units.
• Setting a goal in 2019 to meet with Governor Elect Pritzker to work with him to pave a pathway for the overhaul of crisis stabilization units in Illinois.
• Addressing Gun Violence – DuPage United has led the way for:
• State’s Attorney Berlin and Sheriff Mendrick of DuPage agreeing to sign a “Request for Information” demanding that gun manufacturers track where the guns are sold and account for ways in which gun safety technology can reduce gun violence.
• DuPage United leaders and allies across the country to vote with their shares and successfully pass two shareholder resolutions with gun companies Strum and Ruger and Smith and Wesson to require the companies to track gun violence associated with their guns.
• Planning and publicizing an interfaith response to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting that occurred on October 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA. An Interfaith Shabbat Service was held November 2 at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard (founding member of DuPage United) to mourn and honor the lives lost at the Tree Of Life synagogue. The moving service drew 850 people of faith including 40 clergy and a renewed commitment to work in unity on this issue and others. FCCGE’s Rev. Kendra Joyner-Miller participated by delivering words of prayer and hope during the service.
• Exploring ways to reduce homelessness – DuPage United is working on:
• Developing partnerships with property managers to address vacancies and rental units and the urgent need for housing for working families, seniors and immigrants.
• Exploring those communities who have not adopted “Inclusionary Zoning” policies. Developing relationships with Community leaders to increase awareness of the benefits of IZ.
Care to meet and talk about this or another social justice issues? Contact any of the DU core members below to set up a time for us to talk with each other: