City, state leaders meet with Obama

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Ald. Jason Ervin’s 28th Ward, like many areas in the city, faces a number of issues including unemployment, housing and crime. During a recent visit to the White House, the West Side alderman was able to tell President Barack Obama about some of the ward’

Ald. Jason Ervin’s 28th Ward, like many areas in the city, faces a number of issues including unemployment, housing and crime. During a recent visit to the White House, the West Side alderman was able to tell President Barack Obama about some of the ward’s challenges.

Ervin was “honored” to be among a delegation of young elected leaders to be given a chance to meet with key Obama administration staff, and then with the president himself, earlier this month.

The alderman, state Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-5th Dist., and other elected officials from around the country, were invited to the White House to talk with senior staff about reducing crime, community development and economic recovery.

Ervin told the Defender he was grateful for the opportunity to talk about housing issues affecting his ward. The alderman said he came away with a confidence that the president understood the issues.

“He said he wanted to put the “U” and the “D” back in HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development),” Ervin said of his conversation with Obama. “In fact we really need to refocus our energy back to urban community development.”

Dunkin released a statement shortly after returning from his visit to Washington.

“I am very honored to have been invited,” Dunkin said in the written statement. “After the briefings with his staff, we were able to meet privately with President Obama to discuss a wide variety of issues affecting the people I represent. … I used this meeting as an opportunity to gain important information, to strengthen our state’s special relationship with our president, and to make sure important federal leaders fully understand unemployment and a stagnant economy.”

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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