After Jim Kenny refused to declare a state of emergency, the Philadelphia leader sent a plan to address the issue of gun violence
City Councilman Jamie Gauthier stood on the corner of North 51st Street and Haverford Avenue, not far from where a 1-year-old boy was shot and killed in a grocery store less than a week ago. He gushed listing the latest Philadelphia List of victims of gun violence.
with More than 1,300 people were shot dead with There are close to 320 homicides in this city Less than seven full months before 2021, the West Philadelphia representative said she has debated with Mayor Jim Kenney on whether the violence constitutes a state of emergency statement.
“All week, we have been hearing about how the mayor does not want to declare gun violence an emergency,” said Gauthier, who wrote last year. resolution Call on Kenny to do this. “Okay. Okay. What do you want to call it. I only care about you doing more.”
Gauthier and city controller Rebecca Rhynhart sent the mayor on Thursday A letter outlining the eight steps of action They hope his government will take measures to curb gun violence in the postal code where the shooting is the most serious.The letter also asked Kenny to provide the latest information on his “safer communities” anti-violence strategy roadmap, as well as the city’s expenditures. US$155 million allocated for violence prevention In this year’s budget.
“Considering the tragic losses caused by this epidemic to my region and the daily reality of my voters in the past year, in my opinion, if we don’t do this, there is no fair hope for this city.” Don’t solve it head-on Our gun violence crisis,” Gauthier said.
Kenny has always been skeptical The emergency declaration will “significantly change the situation in Philadelphia.” in Gun violence briefing every two weeks On Wednesday, Kenny said that for his government, “there is nothing more important than stopping the shooting.”
“We know that residents are scared; afraid of going to a picnic or going to the basketball court, afraid of letting their children play outside,” Kenny said. “…I really broke my heart.”
But Kenny refused to issue an emergency statement. He stated that this will not provide additional funds for violence prevention, and his government “has been committed to solving the problem of violence in a coordinated manner for many years.”
Earlier this week, Kenny wrote in a letter to Gautier: “The reality is that the gun violence epidemic is affecting cities across the country, and Philadelphia is taking every opportunity to learn and share with peers.”
At a press conference in West Philadelphia on Thursday, Gauthier, Rhynhart and many speakers were frustrated by this reaction.
“The Kennedy administration almost said that they think they are doing everything they can. They think they are doing everything they can to stop this violence,” Reinhardt said. “I can’t accept it. People in our city can’t accept it.”
“If everything is done, then we won’t see an average of five people being shot and killed every day,” City Councilman Kathy Gilmore Richardson added. “…The longer this crisis lasts, the more harm we will cause to ourselves and our communities in the future.”
In their letter, Gauthier and Rhynhart asked Kenny to respond with “detailed plans and timetables” before July 30 to implement each of their steps.
In a statement InquirerKenney spokesperson Dianna Gamble said that the mayor “looks forward to continuing to work with colleagues in the city council to continue responding to this crisis.”
“The mayor is very pleased to hear that the congressman did not pay attention to semantics, and that her proposal is closely related to the work already carried out by the government to continue our response to the national public health emergency caused by gun violence,” Gamble said in the newspaper.
Gautier said that since last fall, she has not sat down with Kenny to discuss gun violence in Philadelphia.When asked about Kenny reminded the public that he Declaring gun violence a public health crisis of 2018, Gauthier dismissed it.
“I think everyone can see that we are not doing enough,” she said. “It is not enough to just point out the plan made a few years ago and say,’Look, this is our answer.’ I think everyone standing here today can say…what we are doing at the moment needs to be strengthened. “