With the Hadiya Pendleton tragedy as a backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Chicago Friday.
The White House said the visit Friday will be among three trips Obama will make to press issues raised in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
“The president will travel to Chicago for an event amplifying some of the policy proposals included in the State of the Union that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and the Americans striving to get there,” a White House official said.
“He’ll of course also talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country,” the official added.
While the visit to Chicago isn’t just to address gun violence, it comes as answer to the petitions made by several activists for the president to discuss the rampant gun related issues in the city.
"This is an important issue," said Cathy Cohen, founder of the Black Youth Project, which attracted about 45,000 signatures by Sunday night in an online petition that urges Obama to speak up. "We think of this as a victory for all of us."
Rev. Jesse Jackson who was thankful for First Lady Michelle Obama attending Pendleton’s funeral and inviting her family to the State of the Union address also recognizes how important it is for the president to come and speak.
"Her being there is very important since it was her neighborhood," Jackson said. "I think the president's coming is important because she did not deal with the politics. … She dealt with the calming concern for a broken-hearted family," he said.
It’s really good to see the president step up and speak out on an issue that is affecting our inner cities. Chicago has especially been ravaged by gun violence, so it’s the perfect place to hopefully start the ball rolling toward change.
But, no matter what the president or activists say the real change will come from the citizens as illustrated in the video below. At some point people will have to stand up for what’s right even if the consequences seem grave.