DANTE SAWYER GOODBYE; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 18
(House of Representatives - February 02, 2017)

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[Pages H884-H885]
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                              {time}  1030
                          DANTE SAWYER GOODBYE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Illinois (Ms. Kelly) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. KELLY of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank a long-time 
staff member in my office, Dante Sawyer, who, after nearly 4 years of 
service to the families of the Second Congressional District, is moving 
on to new opportunities to work in the office of Cook County State's 
Attorney Kim Foxx.
  It will be a tall task replacing Dante in my office, but I am 
comforted and take pride in the fact that Dante will make a huge 
difference in a new capacity.
  When I first came to Congress and was deciding who I wanted to 
represent me in the field; who I wanted to serve the families I care so 
much about; and who had the compassion, presence, and leadership 
abilities to make a difference back in Chicago, I knew that Dante was 
the difference maker that I needed.
  Dante has a million dollar mind and an irreplaceable heart. He is the 
pulse of the people with a gift for public service.
  It is no secret that the Chicagoland area has been rocked by gun 
violence and economically distressing circumstances. And there is much 
that needs to be done for the families of Chicago. It is sad that 
January of 2017 has started off with just as many shootings as January 
of 2016--and 2016 was the most violent year for Chicago with nearly 700 
gun deaths last year.
  But Dante holds the belief that I do, that nothing stops a bullet 
like an opportunity. And each year, he has been a lead staffer on my 
team in coordinating a youth job and resource expo in the Second 
Congressional District.
  Through this work, Dante has helped me leave a mark in offering 
economic opportunity, mentorship, and job readiness training to 
thousands of Chicagoland youth, helping to ensure the success of the 
next generation.
  He will be gone from my office, but his service continues. 
Congratulations, Dante, and continued success to his wonderful wife and 
his brilliant daughters, Jordan and Payton.
  I am honored to have the privilege to have worked with you. And on 
behalf of the families of the Second Congressional District, thank you 
so much for a job well done.


                          Chicago Gun Violence

  Ms. KELLY of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, last month, as I mentioned, 
Chicago suffered just as many gun shootings as the year before, and 
2016 was a record-setting month itself.
  I have come to the floor countless times to draw attention to this 
epidemic. Last week, President Trump threatened to send in the Feds in 
response to the carnage. It was very disheartening to hear and see on 
the news that my colleagues made jokes at their Republican retreat last 
week about this.
  This morning, he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. In that 
vein, I remind him of the Gospel of Matthew: violence begets violence; 
hate begets hate.
  The proper response is not threat of more force, increased 
demonization, or further withering of police-community relations.
  More cops on the beat alone is not the solution. It is mentorship, 
job training, and increased economic development.

[[Page H885]]

  Nothing stops a bullet like an opportunity. I keep an open invitation 
to President Trump to visit my district so he can learn this himself 
and speak to those in the trenches, and those victimized by gun 
violence, instead of just demonizing in 140 characters from the safety 
of the White House residence.


                    Reaffirm International Alliances

  Ms. KELLY of Illinois. Our international alliances are vital to U.S. 
security. Allies like Australia have never failed to answer the U.S.'s 
call for help. For decades, Australia and the U.S. have cooperated on 
everything from military and intelligence to diplomacy and trade.
  Yet, now, as we face increasing tensions in the Asia Pacific, 
President Trump seems determined to promote instability and 
uncertainty.
  To assist with the rebalance to Asia, the United States has 2,500 
marines stationed in Darwin. This forward posture allows the U.S. 
greater operational flexibility and military integration with 
Australia.
  I encourage President Trump to coordinate more closely with the State 
Department so he can fully understand the delicate balance of 
international affairs.
  Historical tensions between countries like Taiwan and China, and 
India and Pakistan require particular attention to historical 
precedents and agreements.
  The U.S. will gain nothing by projecting uncertainty or hostility 
toward our allies. They have sent their sons and daughters off to war 
on our behalf and formed bonds on the battlefield that will never be 
forgotten.
  I urge my colleagues to reaffirm our international alliances and 
reject efforts by the administration to undermine decades of peace and 
security.

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