I was born in Peoria Illinois, and after being raised by my grandmother in a small town about 45 minutes to the west, I came back to attend a local university and decided to stay after graduation. It was not the lure of great career opportunities that influenced my decision to remain, but the desire to be close to family. Over the last 28 years I have witnessed a slow decline to the city’s inner city areas. The recession did not help an African-American population already plagued by high unemployment, and has not since recovered. Communities of poverty are usually the breeding grounds for violence and this has been increasingly true of Peoria. While most of the country has seen the decline of violence, Peoria and Chicago have not. Chicago has managed to capture the attention of the nation for it’s high gang related gun deaths, but these similar cases have been growing here. The first gun death of the year occurred this past week and was the inspiration of this week’s podcast discussion. My guests are local radio personality Johnnette Johnson and returning guest and community activist Angennette Nathan. We explore some of the causes of tragedies such as the 22 year old man’s untimely death due to gang violence. It’s multi-layered dysfunction that begins in the home. The causes are many and solutions prove to be frustrating but we are not giving up on this city. Take a listen to our chat and please share your ideas.