Al Sharpton Moving to Chicago to Address Gun Violence
Making good on his July plans to move to Chicago and help address the city’s gun violence problem, Rev. Al Sharpton reportedly leased a West Side apartment.
The colorful activist has even found a roommate: Martin Luther King III.
Sharpton said along with King, he wants to spotlight the people and the efforts fighting the gun violence epidemic in Chicago.
“It’s to really encourage groups that are already are doing work,” Sharpton told ABC Chicago. “We’re not coming with a new program, we’re coming to put a spotlight and to support those that are doing it.”
Sharpton also blasted the “egos” of some local anti-violence activists, telling the Sun-Times it’s time for them to “stop acting like gangbangers themselves and stop fighting over turfs.”
Sharpton and King aren’t saying which West Side neighborhood they’ve picked to live, though Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is hopeful “the whole West Side” will benefit.
“We’ve got some issues over here and we need all hands on deck and we welcome even someone who doesn’t reside here,” the Rev. Ira Acree told ABC. Acree and Marshall Hatch, both West Side ministers, are the ones who invited Sharpton to Chicago.
Still, not everyone is convinced Sharpton’s temporary relocation to the Windy City will have legs.
“It’s needed, but do I think it will make a difference? Probably not,” said Austin resident LaTonia Elzy.
The National Action Network leader and host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” and eponymous radio show said he plans to broadcast his shows from the Windy City during his time in town.
In July, Sharpton told the Associated Press his temporary relocation loosely mirrors what Martin Luther King Jr. did in the mid-1960s, when the iconic civil rights leader rented an apartment in Chicago.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we need to raise all the questions publicly and consistently,” Sharpton told the AP. “Consistent attention forces a consistent change.”