PHILADELPHIA – Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) today released the following statement:
“Last night, Mayor Kenney announced that his administration will begin offering regular public briefings on their efforts to combat Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis. This was one of the major asks that I set forth in Resolution 200447, which encouraged the Mayor’s Office to launch an emergency response to this urgent public health issue. I thank the Mayor for making this a priority, and I thank all of the Councilmembers, community members, and activists that have been demanding change.
“The public deserves to know what our city is doing to address the gun violence that’s gripping our neighborhoods. To truly be effective, these briefings must be part of a larger, comprehensive strategy that includes more robust investments in prevention, intervention, and victim services programs that have been proven to work, and connects to appropriate enforcement strategies.
“Last night, two Philadelphians, including a 16-year-old boy, tragically lost their lives in two separate mass shootings in West Philadelphia. Six others were injured, several of them critically. This brings us to a total of 3 mass shootings so far this week citywide.
“The child who died last night was a resident of my district. He was the fourth minor to lose their life to gun violence in the district in less than two weeks.
“This is a difficult issue, and cities around the country are struggling to find solutions. But Philadelphians have to be able to see that we’re coming to the table and doing everything we possibly can to address this crisis each and every day.
“We also must acknowledge that these are mostly Black lives being lost to gun violence. Sometimes it feels like we have two different cities: one where people can enjoy themselves and the nice weather, and another where kids can literally die just from being outside.
“Last year, we had a reckoning with regard to racial justice in our society. “Black Lives Matter” was the rallying cry. Our city vowed to do better. Addressing public safety needs is by far the most urgent task to make good on this promise. Tending to the long-term root causes of this violence are important, but will take decades to achieve. We need immediate action to stop the bloodshed and to bring much-needed relief to our communities.”
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