Friday, September 9, 2011

Cabrera named co-chair of City Council task force to combat gun voilence

In case you've been living in a hole this past week (and we can't blame you), there's been a spike of gun violence in New York City. Living up to its stereotype, a good bad portion of that has been in the Bronx. The City Council has taken note and created the task force to figure out the best way to handle the situation and naming Bronx City Council Member Fernando Cabrera co-chair of the task force. 

The group will work with academic experts, law enforcement and community based groups across the five boroughs to examine the root causes of gun violence, locate resources to combat gun violence and develop additional ways of tackling the problem across the city. 

“Gun violence is a stain on our communities that disproportionately affects neighborhoods of color,”  Cabrera said. “This is an unfortunate reality that many of us have to live with and it is time that we examine this issue deeply and take comprehensive action towards workable solutions. This task force aims to do just that.”

Jump below for more.

The announcement comes in response to the growing problems of gun violence and illegal handgun ownership. Most recently this past weekend nearly 50 people were shot, three of them fatally. Excluding Labor Day, during the week ending Sunday, 98 people were shot, an increase of more than 45% from the same period last year. 

“For too many families across our City, gun violence is an unrelenting fact of life,” said Speaker Christine Quinn. “It’s time for that to change. This task force will help us aggressive combat the issue of gun violence and help engage New Yorkers to take action and stop the violence that is poisoning our communities.” 

The task force will also be chaired by Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who was handcuffed and detained at the violence-plagued West Indian Day Parade with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's aide Kirsten J. Foy.

“It is long past due that we pull together all resources possible to put an end to the gun violence ravaging our communities," Williams said. "There are New York City’s children’s lives at stake every single day. It should not be acceptable to us that these shootings occur in any community, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or any other characteristic. I look forward to ensuring this task force not only produces a valuable dialogue, but delivers real results in the form of program and policy change to save lives and our children’s futures."

The task force will meet in the coming weeks, and will conduct outreach in communities throughout the city, talking to residents about how New Yorkers can work collaboratively in order to reduce gun violence.

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