Commissioner Fish and I attended a memorial for Julio Cesar Marquez this evening.
Julio was a 13-year-old student in the Rosi Hinton alternative program at David Douglas High School, found dead of trauma and gunshot wounds in an alley in outer NE Portland on the morning of Monday, November 7. The memorial was held at the East Portland Community Center, where Julio's mom and brother said he loved to skateboard and play basketball.
Somebody, perhaps many people, can tell who killed Julio. Those who know or can give any information, please call 9-1-1, or Crimestoppers at 503-823-HELP, or report online here.
Others who care about people struggling in our community, and children dying violently, can help by contributing to a fund set up by the Latino Network to pay funeral expenses when families cannot. Ruma Perez, Program Manager for the Concilio youth justice work at Latino Network, told attendees about the fund this evening.
Donations to the fund, or to Latino Network programs helping children struggling to escape crime and violence, may be made on line here.
Concilio Somos el Futuro is a network of youth providers and advocates who are working in partnership with the Department of Community Justice to reduce overrepresentation of Latino youth in the justice system. Over the past three years, Concilio providers have built a culturally specific system of care to support the successful reintegration of youth who are on probation in our community.
Those attending the ceremony were moved to hear all City of Portland flags will fly at half staff on December 1, to mark Julio's passing and bring attention to the violent world no 13-year-old should die in, especially in Portland. I am glad I voted to support that symbolic initiative by Commissioner Saltzman.
Another way to help is to volunteer to mentor kids in school. Contact Oregon Mentors to find a match that suits you. Or just say a kind word to a kid when you find an opportunity - and look for those opportunities. It takes a village to raise a child.