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Chicago alderman camps out in tent along infamously violent South Side block

Chicago alderman camps out on violent Englewood block
Chicago alderman camps out on violent Englewood block 02:42

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Ald. David Moore (17th) is putting his safety on the line to help people in his neighborhood stay safe—vowing to camp out overnight in a tent on a notoriously dangerous street.

The temperature hit a record 97 degrees in Chicago on Monday—and since he set up his tent this past weekend, Moore has already had to dodge some gunfire.

Nonetheless, the constant gunfire and open drug sales have prompted Moore to take such drastic measures. He is seeking to bring awareness to a problem he said no one seems to care about.

Will he be able to handle the heat?

"I'm sweating," he said. "If it's God's will."

Moore is sleeping in a tent on 73rd Place between Ada Street and Racine Avenue in Englewood—and his move has been getting attention in the ward.

"On this particular block, the 1200 block of West 73rd Place, where you have open-air drug market, where people are just—it's superhighway on any given day," Moore said.

So to address the persistent problems in the Englewood community, Moore hopes to shine light even when it's dark.

"An innocent young lady got killed the other night. I get calls—'What the hell are you going to do, alderman? We are tired,'" said Moore. "I've tried everything else. I don't know what else to do."

In fact, Moore started the sleep-out over the weekend on the first night, and a volley of gunfire rang out while he was streaming live on Facebook.

"So shots were just fired on the block. Threats were made to us," Moore said in the Facebook Live video. "No one was hit."

Yet Moore said such violence is what people living on that block of 73rd Street face daily.

"The kids don't feel safe playing out in the streets, because you never know when somebody's going to come by and shoot someone," Moore said.

Tamuela Miller stopped by the campsite to tell Moore to keep fighting.

"Because the residents just want somebody do something different than what they've done before," Miller said.

Moore said anyone who believes he is grandstanding or playing politics with the sleepout is very much mistaken.

"They can say that, but it's not. Me putting my life—my life ain't worth politics," said Moore.

Ald. Moore said he plans to stay out as long as it takes to get extra patrols and his streets safer. He admits he is concerned about his safety, but he has no fear in doing his job.

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