SOURCE: ROOT (Reaching Out To Others Together)

April 05, 2007 10:46 ET

Media Advisory: DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmember Jim Graham Begin Aggressive Awareness Campaign to Address Gun Violence

Press Conference Scheduled for Friday, April 6, 2007 at 10:30AM to Announce Anti-Gun Violence Proactive Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 5, 2007 --


Who:

Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmember Jim Graham, Department of Health, AMERIGROUP, Washington Metro Area Transit Association (WMATA), and ROOT, Inc.

Danny Govan, 16-years-old and mother, Sheila Govan, speaking for those victimized by gun violence. The Govan family has had 10 members of its immediate family murdered as a result of gun violence in past years.

Victims of Gun Violence, MPD, USDOJ, DMH, DCPS, DYRS, EMS. Members of the Clergy, Community Organizations, and Concerned Citizens, Crisis Response Team, Homicide Liaison, youth, and members of the City Council.

What:

Public service announcing GUNS ASIDE poster on metro buses to begin proactive awareness campaign at efforts to reduce gun violence in the District of Columbia

Where:

Steps of John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008

When:

Friday, April 6, 2007, 10:30 AM

Why:

In January of 2006, the Guns Aside Resolution calling January Guns Aside month in the District of Columbia was introduced by the Ward 4 Councilmember Adrian Fenty and Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham and was unanimously approved by the City Council. A press conference was held at the National Press Club declaring the District of Columbia was facing a public health crisis with escalating incidents of gun violence. The city is even now still in crisis with incidents of gun violence seen on the news daily, read in our newspapers, as well as reported on list servs and blogs daily.

The city itself declared a state of emergency in July of 2006. Prior to that declaration, ROOT had its outreach workers circulating petitions throughout the District of Columbia for citizens to sign expressing their concerns about gun violence. Over 8,000 petitions were signed by citizens young and old in the city prior to the city declaring the state of emergency.

As of April 3, there have been 40 homicides in the District of Columbia. 6,412 individuals have been murdered in the District of Columbia from 1986 through 2005. According to MPD statistics, robbery with a handgun is up 8% over 2006, and assault with a deadly weapon -- handguns -- is up 5% over last year.

Over the past several years, ROOT has conducted preliminary research on children that are impacted by gun violence and homicide and results have been astonishing. Children from the 5th to the 12th grade are reporting that upwards of 90% know a family member or friend that has been victimized by gun violence, and upwards of 90% hear gunshots in their community.

In a recent survey conducted among young women during an empowerment symposium at a high school in Ward 8, we found that 75% of the young women surveyed either had access or knew someone with access to guns.

The prevalence of guns in the community are a concern to all. The recent appellate court decision has created a great deal of controversy in the District of Columbia, when the District is trying to reduce the amount of guns not increase the numbers.

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