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Rep. Foster Hosts Aurora Residents At Obama Address in Chicago

Feb 15, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, two Aurora residents attended President Obama’s address in Chicago to share their stories of combating gun violence.

Cheryl Maraffio

Cheryl spent twenty years as an executive in the securities and commodities industry, but then dedicated her life to community service after learning that her son had been shot during a random act of gang violence during the YWCA week without violence in October of 2000.  She has been the driving force behind several community programs and activities that encourage and mentor youth to make positive life choices.  Her work has included organizing an elementary school violence prevention program, working with support groups for families and friends of murder victims and co-founding the Victim Services Unit which provides crisis intervention services for victims.

Sheriff Patrick Perez

Sheriff Perez has been in law enforcement in Kane County for over 20 years and has served as the Kane County Sheriff since 2006. Under his watch, the murder rate in Aurora, Illinois went from 25 murders in 2002 and 2003 to 0 murders last year with no gun deaths in over 400 days.  This dramatic reduction was due in no small part to the coordinated intervention of the federal government including the FBI and the BATF, and local law enforcement officials including Sheriff Perez.  The success that Sheriff Perez and others have had combating gun violence in Aurora should serve as a model for the nation.

Congressman Foster joined President Obama on Air Force One on the trip from Washington, DC to Chicago where they discussed solutions to addressing gun violence, creating jobs and growing the economy.

“I was pleased to see President Obama speaking about ‘ladders of opportunity’ in Chicago today,” said Foster. “The best investment we can make, both in combating violence and improving our economy, is increasing opportunities for children and families to succeed – that means investing in education, improving access to mental health services and making sure that families are able to earn a living wage.”

“I am honored to have Cheryl Maraffio and Sheriff Perez attend today’s event and share their stories of the work they have done to improve lives and reduce violence.  The amazing success we have seen at reducing gun violence in Aurora should serve as a model for communities throughout the nation working to address this issue.”