October 21, 2019 — Philadelphia, PA — Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District) today released the following statement in response to the weekend’s gun violence:
“Representing the 7th Council District, I have spent nearly 12 years consoling parents, children, families, and communities through the trauma of gun violence in Philadelphia. The years of life, hope, and possibility that have been lost are heartbreaking.
“But we know our broken hearts don’t heal families. Our shared grief is not even the minimum of what is needed. Gun violence flourishes in some neighborhoods, even as it is reduced in others, because of how we, as public officials, deploy resources.
“The ongoing opioid crisis has concentrated an escalating drug trade in eastern North Philadelphia, and this largely unchecked drug market has drastically increased the danger for community members, families, and children, as violent disputes intensify. We need a comprehensive public safety strategy with police, our District Attorney’s office and the Mayor.
“I have been vocal regarding the need for a new strategy to disrupt the open drug trade at known drug corners, but public safety is only one aspect of our needed response.
“From the tragic loss of life and injury, to the compounding community trauma, what we are experiencing is the result of decades of intergenerational poverty, a lack of access to opportunity, neglect of the public right of way, flourishing vacancy and blight, and a lack of investment.
“We need to help residents reclaim their community, clean streets, safe corridors for our children, an investment in training for today’s jobs, and stable, affordable housing. We are condemning our children to trauma and normalizing chaos.
“We need to make real, restorative investments to bring a renewed sense of hope, promise, opportunity, and a peaceful future to these neighborhoods. We cannot consign communities to perpetual lawlessness and a public health crisis because we lack the political will to intervene.
“The Hunting Park and Kensington communities need more than our thoughts and prayers, and they need more than our grief and anger. They need government to do its job.”
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