Philadelphia militants and city councilors reacted to Mayor Kenny’s refusal to declare gun violence a public emergency

Philadelphia militants and city councilors reacted to Mayor Kenny’s refusal to declare gun violence a public emergency


Jamal Johnson went on a hunger strike outside City Hall for nearly a month last winter to support the city council’s resolution, urging Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny to list gun violence as a citywide emergency.

This When Kenny met Johnson and stated that he would “do our best to complete the resolution” and control the violence, the strike ended.

A few months later, after hundreds of homicides, Kenny informed the drafter of the resolution, Jamie Gauthier, in a letter that the state of emergency statement “is not a solution that can significantly change the situation in Philadelphia.” PhillyVoice obtained a copy of this letter.

Johnson personally took this move, calling it “a slap in the face.”On Tuesday, the Marine Corps veteran Posted a video of him interacting with Kenny This ended his hunger strike on Facebook.

“Mayor Kenny lied to me and now he has given up the fight against gun violence!” Johnson wrote.

Last September, the city council Unanimously passed Resolution, Which calls for the declaration of gun violence as a public health crisis and to deal with it with the same urgency against COVID-19. At the beginning of this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also issued a similar statement, Calling it “a matter of life and death.”

Kenny urged Gautier in his letter “Continue to research solutions to invest in and cure communities injured by gun violence, and resist the temptation to make statements that will not have the expected impact.” He pointed to $155 million in the city’s budget Allocation is used to prevent violence and address its root causes. He said he welcomes “additional national resources and changes to regulations that prevent the entry and movement of illegal guns.”

Kenny wrote: “Local government leaders across the United States are doing everything we can to provide resources, coordination and attention to the gun violence epidemic, which continues to spread like a disease in our country.”

But Gauthier on Tuesday dismissed any view that the emergency declaration was just for show. She said in a statement that her resolution will require “speed and transparency in the implementation of gun violence prevention programs, enhanced coordination between relevant city agencies, and use of the resources of Philadelphia’s vibrant business community.”

Gauthier, who represents the third district, said: “After so much time has passed and so many people have been injured or killed, it is simply unreasonable for the mayor to respond so rashly and deaf to our call for action.” The letter did not solve the real problems that people in my area are trying to solve every day.”

Philadelphia police reported 305 homicides in 2021, a 33% increase from the same period last year. Summer is particularly bloody, Enquirer report On average, more than 10 people were shot and killed every day in July.

This includes what happens on More than 100 shots were fired at the picnic on July 4 In the Gauthier area, five shootings occurred in southwest Philadelphia on Friday night, killing a man and injuring a 14-year-old girl. On Saturday, a 1-year-old boy was injured in a double shooting on North 50th Street and Haverford Avenue.

Kenny will hold another bi-weekly update on gun violence at 1pm on Wednesday.The presentation can be broadcast live The city’s Facebook page.

Although Johnson was frustrated by Kenny’s refusal to declare a state of emergency, he said it would not change his fierce attitude that he would continue to advocate for change.

Johnson told the Voice of Philadelphia: “The state of emergency has existed for a long time, and we can’t raise the real level.” “…We are at the highest level for the chaos and carnage that takes place on the streets.”

He said that part of this work will involve pushing more city council members to hold the mayor accountable.

“Most people in the city council were born and raised in Philadelphia; they knew exactly what we went through,” he said. “…The question is,’Why don’t they do anything?’ That’s what (yes) makes me angry.”

At least two lawmakers opposed Kenny’s decision on social media. City Councillor Catherine Gilmore Richardson Twitter wrote: “Our baby is dying. If this is not an emergency, it will be fine.”

When news of Kenny’s letter to Gauthier spread, City Councillor Cindy Bass tweeted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!!!”

Meanwhile, Gauthier spent Tuesday as a panelist A virtual forum focused on the link between food insecurity and gun violence.

“I am very frustrated with this result, but it will not weaken my resolve,” she said. “I will not stop fighting for justice for our community until our streets are safe again.”

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