As Congressman of the 2nd District, Anthony Beale will focus on the following priorities:
- Fast track construction of the South Suburban Airport, which will create tens of thousands of immediate and future local jobs, re-establish Illinois’ preeminence as a transportation hub and address a nationally needed expansion of airspace capacity.
- Advance redevelopment of the 470-acre Southeast Side Chicago U.S. Steel South Works site, destined for retail, commercial and recreational space as well as to produce thousands of jobs and market-rate and affordable residences..
- Assist Canadian National Railway finalize in Harvey its Logistics Park, already designated a Foreign Trade Zone, to create local jobs and attract related development.
- Continue support of Pullman Park, the 170-acre mixed-use development, off the Bishop Ford Expressway, as an economic engine for the old Ryerson Steel site.
- As its long-time, leading official voice, ensure the Red Line receives funding to extend from 95th to 130th Street, thereby enabling far South Side residents quicker access to downtown Chicago jobs.
EDUCATION/PREPARING FOR OPPORTUNITY
- Ensure the South Suburban Airport partners with the many 2nd CD education and training institutions for technical needs, research and graduating qualified candidates for projected positions.
- Find funds to seed 2nd CD institutions of higher learning “think tanks” and business incubators to stimulate new ideas, produce professionals with a stake in local growth, and help match educational priorities with community needs.
- Considering the 2nd CD is at the heart of interstate roads crossing the nation’s midsection, support Olive Harvey College and private programs that offer training for the trucking industry to fill the thousands of openings expected over the next 10 years.
- Build on my expertise negotiating construction-project agreements to secure a fair share of apprenticeship and other training opportunities for local residents, particularly women and African Americans.
- Lobby for locating the Obama Presidential Library in the historic Pullman area where he did his first community organizing, which already attracts tourists from around the country and world.
PUBLIC SAFETY/QUALITY OF LIFE
- As a sponsor of Chicago’s gun ordinance, continue advocating for commonsense legislation, including a ban on assault weapons.
- Lobbying for funds to allocate police and other security resources to the areas that need them most.
- Encouraging a holistic approach to crime that includes attention to work opportunities, strong public schools, and positive outlets for young people.
- Support more youth and family-oriented venues, such as the 130,000 sq. ft. community center planned to go up in 2013 for Pullman Park that will house four basketball courts, two soccer fields, two baseball infields, weight training, and running track.
- Ensuring quality, convenient housing and services for our growing population of seniors, enabling them to continue contributing to their communities.
The dramatic escalation of gun-related violence in the United States has seized the nation’s attention, galvanizing a growing consensus of Americans, the President and members of Congress to call for comprehensive federal gun restrictions, particularly bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. Recent statistics from the National Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. General Accounting Office illustrate the breadth of the social and economic impact of gun violence in our nation:
- Annually more than 100,000 persons in the U.S. are shot or injured by firearm injuries (3,000 are children).
- Guns were used in 11,078 homicides in the U.S. in 2010, comprising almost 35 percent of all gun deaths, and over 68 percent of all homicides.
- Children and young adults (24 years of age and under) constitute 38 percent of all firearm deaths and non-fatal injuries.
- Firearm-related deaths and injuries result in estimated medical costs of $2.3 billion each year – half of which are borne by U.S. taxpayers.
- Once all the direct and indirect medical, legal and societal costs are factored together, the annual cost of gun violence in America amounts to $100 billion.
These statistics are not isolated aberrations. Locally, Chicago led the nation with 506 homicides in 2012, most of which were gun related. Last year, 319 Chicago Public School children were shot—24 were killed.
Vigorous enforcement of current laws and more effective gun legislation are needed to reduce gun violence. The guns and ammunition used in recent mass shootings were all legally purchased under current laws, including military-style assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. This is the result of numerous gaps and loopholes in the existing patchwork of state and national gun legislation. A 1994 federal law that banned the sale of military-style assault rifles expired in 2004.
While the gun debate is traditionally framed as a “culture” battle between Second Amendment gun-owner rights and gun control advocates, an overwhelming majority of Americans supports measures that would require gun purchasers to undergo background checks, and bans on military-style assault weapons. Measures such as background checks are highly effective in preventing violence – for example, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has blocked more than 1.9 million permit application and gun sales to felons, seriously mentally ill individuals, drug abusers and other potentially violent persons.
Anthony Beale understands the staggering toll gun-related violence inflicts upon the quality of life in our communities. As 9th Ward Alderman, Beale is a leader in the Chicago City Council on public safety issues. Beale co-sponsored the Chicago Gun Ordinance that (a) bans assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, (b) limits to one per month the number of handguns a resident may register and prohibits having more than one operating handgun at any given time, (c) requires residents in homes with children to secure handguns in lock boxes or to secure the weapon with trigger locks, (d) prohibits gun ownership for residents convicted of violent offenses, domestic violence or two or more DUI convictions; (e) requires maintenance by the police department of a database of all registered firearm owners in the city with information available to emergency first responders; and (f) imposes mandatory fingerprinting and firearm training for all prospective gun owners.
As the 2nd Congressional District Representative, Anthony Beale would support President Obama’s efforts to enact federal gun control legislation, and would aggressively pursue a common sense approach that strikes a reasonable balance between the 2nd Amendment rights of the Constitution and the compelling concerns of public safety. National legislation that would:
- Reinstate and strengthen the 1994 ban on the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of assault weapons;
- Ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of firing more than 10 rounds;
- Require “grandfathered” weapons (weapons legally owned prior to passage of the legislation) be reregistered under the National Firearms Act;
- Close the “gun show loophole” that allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns without conducting a background check;
- Close the private sale loophole;
- Require the reporting of any firearm that is lost or stolen;
- Oppose national concealed carry reciprocity.