With violence in Chicago being a local as well as a national concern, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) made it the focus of its retreat this year. CIOGC participated in the retreat in which Paul Goldenberg, President of Cardinal Point Strategies and the guest speaker, surveyed the violence in other major metropolitan areas, how it is being tackled and what role the religious leaders are playing in violence reduction. He particularly quoted the model used in Los Angeles and the success it has achieved.
Fr. Thomas Baima of the Catholic Archdiocese said Cardinal Cupich is taking a major initiative for violence reduction and is looking to network with other religious communities. CRLMC announced the formation of a committee to evaluate civic and political matters that come before the council and make recommendations to the full council. The members of this committee include Fr. Thomas Baima, Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Rev. Herbert Martin, Rev. Stan Davis, and a representative from CIOGC.
Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin, attending the retreat on behalf of CIOGC, spoke about the need of having the State of Illinois declared as a sanctuary state, along the lines of the State of California that recently declared itself a sanctuary State. CIOGC is currently working on drafting a legislation and seeking the participation of all the religious congregations that are members of CRLMC.