Monday, July 21, 2014

Guns & Gangs, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Hispanic Advisory Council, Rafael Malpica, Brian Holmes, Alejandro Valadez, Valadez Law, 22nd Annual El Humanitario Award Ceremony, 6th Annual Unity in the Community Conference, Calendar of Events

Anita Alvarez & Rafael Malpica
           GUNS & GANGS:
On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Cook County State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez, met with members of her Hispanic Advisory Council. The meeting was held in a Conference Room in the George W. Dunne Building, 69 W. Washington Ave., downtown Chicago. State's Attorney Alvarez opened the meeting with welcoming remarks followed by a report on a case involving Human Trafficking; an initiative funded by a federal grant.
           ALVAREZ reported that her office prosecuted 10 defendants involved in human trafficking. “All 10 pleaded guilty because the evidence against them was strong,” she said. Wiretap, surveillance and audiotapes were used to make the case against the defendants. The offenders could not believe their criminal activities were being watched. All defendants were all charged with the Class X felony of Aggravated Traficking in Persons. Trafficking a total of 16 victims, including 11 children and five young adults.
          STATE’S ATTORNEY ALVAREZ introduced Rafael Malpica as the new Chairman of State's Attorney Hispanic Advisory Council. Chairman Malpica also welcomed the members of the Council. “The goal of the Council is to represent our community and to collaborate between communities,” said Malpica.
            GUEST SPEAKER was Deputy Supervisor, Brian Holmes, Gang Crimes Unit and Project Safe Neighborhoods, a division of the Cook County State's Attorney office. He spoke on the issue of “Guns & Gangs” and said there is a lot of discussion in Springfield on what to do about our current gun laws. “More young people are being charged with guns; and more people are killed by guns in Chicago in a weekend than in Iraqi or Afghanistan,” said Holmes. Holmes said some young people, between 17-20 years of age, are not hardening criminals. “They get into a car and get into trouble,” he said.
          DEPUTY SUPERVISOR HOLMES receives a report every week, with over 100 sheets, on gun crimes committed in Cook County. “I check every one,” he said “Guns are coming into [Chicago] from Indiana, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Alabama, mostly southern states. A gun crime is a 2 to 10 years in jail. Holmes said a serious gun offense is the unlawful use of a gun by a gang member, a Class X Felony, a 6 to 30 year jail sentence under the Valadez Law, a non-probational sentence. Homes reported that most gun crimes are committed in Police Districts 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 15. Little Village is in Police District 10.
Alejandro "Alex"  Valadez
           VALADEZ LAW:
In 2010, the Valadez Law was enacted in memory of Officer Alejandro Valadez. The law mandates that any gang member found to be in the unlawful possession of a firearm must serve a prison sentence. Police Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez, 27, was a 3-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, District 7. After midnight on June 1, 2009, Valadez and his partner, Officer Thomas Vargas, responded to gunshots at the 6000 block of South Hermitage Ave. Alex was shot twice. He died at Stronger Hospital. Charged with the shooting were Kevin Walker, 25, the driver of a car and Shawn Gaston, 24 and Christopher Harris, 24. Gaston was sentenced to 125 years in prison, Walker to 120 years and Harris to 105 years in prison.
           IN CONCLUSION: State's Attorney Alvarez said a young person told her an amazing thing. He said, “We got to put “neighbor” back into neighborhood to make our block safer. “Today, gun owners must report if their gun is stolen or lost. It is the law, you report your bike or car if it's stolen,” said Alvarez.
          COOK COUNTY State's Attorney Hispanic Advisory Council members are Ed Arroyo, Freddy Calixto, Salvador A. Cicero, Neusa Gaytan, Michael J. Hernandez, Jose Isais, Rafael Malpica, Francisco Menchaca, Nora Moreno Cargie, Martha O'Bryan, Maria-Teresa Roman, Victoria Romero, August Sallas, Lupe Sanchez, John B. Valencia, Blanca Vargas, Tito Vargas.
          CHRISTINE CHAN, Deputy Director, Community Outreach & Special Events, announced that she is accepting nominations until August 8, 2014 of a Hispanic Attorney serving in the Hispanic Community to be honored at the State's Attorney's 22nd Annual El Humanitario Award Ceremony. For details on how to submit your nomination, call Christine Chan at 312/603-8724. Chan also announced the upcoming 6th Annual Unity in the Community Conference to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. Public invited.
                                     CALENDAR OF EVENTS
          SATURDAY, JULY 26--- Free Haircuts & Manicure from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. No appointment necessary.
          SUNDAY, JUL7 27--- Chicagoland Toys for Tots Picnic and Pig Roast from 10 a.m. until dusk, at White Eagle Woods, Grove 2, 7317 40th St., Lyons, IL. All ages are welcome. B.Y.O.B. Food: Pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, grilled corn. Meals start at $3. Games: for children of every age. Car & Bike Show: Free entry and admission. Kids pick the winners. Live Entertainment: Ground Control, Superfly Redneck. Featuring “They Found Us” and “Whiskey Road”. Bean Bags: Bring a teammate or find one here. $10 per person. Dunk Tank. Douse one of your favorite board members. For more information call George Lester Fortier Jr. 708/308-4661 or Sharon D. Allen – 773/517-5896. Come and join the fun!
           SUNDAY, JULY 27--- Mariachi Tapatio musical event at the Manuel Perez Memorial Plaza, 26th St. & Kolin Ave. from 4 p.m. To 6 p.m. Sponsored by the SSA #25 Commission. Open to the public.
           SUNDAY, AUGUST 3—Trio Los Primos musical event at the Manuel Perez Memorial Plaza, 26th St. & Kolin Ave. from 4 p.m. To 6 p.m. Sponsored by the SSA #25 Commission. Open to the public.
          THRSDAY, JULY 31--42h Annual “Fiesta de Sol”, the largest Latino festival in the Midwest, 1400 W. Cermak Road [Pilsen] starting at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. FRIDAY, AUGUST 1—11 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., SATURDAY, AUGUST 2—11 a.m. to 11 p.m. SUNDAY, AUGUST 3—11 a.m. to 10 p.m. FREE ADMISSION. For more information log