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Hundreds gather to exchange ideas on reducing Chicago gun deaths

CHICAGO, July 27 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people turned out for a Congressional Black Caucus event one CBC member said was meant to "beat the drum" for ideas to end violence in Chicago.

The daylong National Emergency Summit on Urban Violence brought members of the caucus together with about 200 community activists and local politicians, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

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Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., said he didn't expect to arrive at "a panacea" from the Friday summit, but he hoped to develop two or three initiatives for which the caucus could seek support in Washington.

"It's no one thing," said Davis. "It's poverty, school closings, lack of good educational opportunities, lack of jobs, parenting and a need to rebuild infrastructure."

Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., said she, Davis and Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, organized the event after more than 70 people were shot in Chicago during the Fourth of July weekend.

"We're beating the drum, and I'm not going to let this die because we are losing a generation of young people," she said.

A town hall meeting drew about 500 residents from the city's neighborhoods, including the parents of a 15-year-old girl shot to death in January, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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Charles Scott, 39, who came with his church's "Peacemakers" group, urged lawmakers to heed the comments of young community members.

"I think they really need to listen to a young person on the streets," he said.

Dr. Wayne Watson, president of Chicago State University, which hosted the event, said a solution was needed to "abstract violence" among young men who had no hope of getting a job and therefore no future, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported.

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