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Earlier this week, a committee of the Chicago City Council declined to take a stand against a tax credit to which Spike Lee's film "Chiraq" is entitled under state law. Alderman Will Burns has complained that the name of the movie, which was filmed in Englewood this summer and employed thousands of local residents, could hurt Chicago's image and discourage tourists and businesses from coming to the city.

Residents of the neighborhoods depicted in "Chiraq" know Chicago's crime problem runs far deeper than semantics and public relations. Fr. Michael Pfleger of the Faith Community of St. Sabina and many community activists came to the committee meeting to demand that policymakers focus on addressing the violence that has claimed so many lives, rather than arguing over the title of a film that seeks to expose and help stop the senseless killing.

After speaking with many of my constituents who support Spike Lee's project and want the focus to stay on preventing bloodshed and healing our community, I introduced a resolution in the Illinois Senate calling on the state to approve "Chiraq"'s application for a film tax credit, just as it would for any other eligible production. I secured bipartisan support for this resolution, and I am pleased that the City Council has refused to become distracted from its true responsibilities to the people of the South Side.

NBC Chiraq news video still

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