In 2015, when Arne Duncan moved back to Chicago after serving as President Obama’s education secretary, he set out on a listening tour of perhaps the least listened-to young me in America: shooters.
Duncan went to Cook County Jail and to the streets in the Chicago neighborhoods where most of the gun violence takes place, and he asked the same questions over and over to dozens of young, mostly African-American, men: How much money would it take for you to put down the guns?
At first, he didn’t believe the answer. For a legal job paying just $12 or $13 an hour less than Chicago’s $14/hour minimum wage the men said they would put down their guns and turn away from the life they’d been leading. That gave Duncan a great idea.
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