Last year, one of my worst fears as a parent of a young person in Chicago came true. On the way home from school, my eldest son was caught in the crossfire of a shooting. He literally dodged a bullet, and the trauma we suffered from the shooting was considerable. Despite having health insurance, our family was unable to access mental health services for over a year. How can a city with such high rates of gun violence fail to provide the resources and preventative action needed in our neighborhoods?

Like so many others, I kept the incident to myself even as my son and I underwent cognitive behavioral therapy. It was only when I shared our story with friends and colleagues that I realized my family was not alone in suffering the effects of gun violence. One such conversation was with a close friend and mentor, Dion Miller Perez. As a fellow community leader, he encouraged me to run for alderman and address the trauma borne by families in aftermath of shootings. He inspired what became my comprehensive plan to shift public resources to address the root causes of violence.

I am running now to defend our homes and make our neighborhoods stronger. I am running now to defend our homes and make our neighborhoods stronger. I will bring together small businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, and block clubs to address the problems of our community. With your support, we stand ready to make that change. We stand ready to defend our homes.

Will you join us?

-José