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The City and County Commissions passed a resolution in 2021 stating that gun violence was a public health crisis! We are advocating that funding be sent to our local foundations for equitable allocations, that all impacted neighborhoods be supported and that all recommendations by the City Commissioners and Staff be connected to the passed Resolution. Thus, centered in equity and anti-racism!

Please be at this meeting on Monday, June 20th if you possibly can:


Please sign and submit your words below. Your message will go to all the City Commissioners and to City staff:

Community Voices Matter in Gun Violence Prevention! I support Public Health Recommendations!

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Dear Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Commissioners and City Staff, my name is
and I have lived/worked in Kalamazoo for
I want to first thank the City for deciding to become an anti-racist organization. This is no easy task, but a necessary one. Thank you, also, for unanimously passing a resolution (written by BIPOC leaders, Commissioner Tami Rey and Gwendolyn Hooker) stating that gun violence is a public health crisis. There are many important facets of gun violence.

How is the City educating themselves on what gun violence as a public health crisis really means? How are you partnering in this learning journey with local community organizations? I want to discuss community violence that is currently impacting us locally. I am concerned about gun violence because
While there is always a sense of urgency around gun violence, we want to caution you all as leaders from acting on urgency alone. At the June 6th City Commission meeting, it was stated by a community executive director that federal funding is difficult to allocate using an equity lens. When looking at how white supremacy operates within institutions, urgency can be harmful in the following way(s):
As a Beloved Community, as a village, we need funding resources for trauma-informed, holistic, culturally competent resources in all our impacted neighborhoods, not just one impacted neighborhood. This gun violence prevention funding needs to be immediately sent to our local foundations who distribute money. Our local foundations hold the expertise in distributing funds and they work to do so with an equity and anti-racism lens.

Thank you to those of you who are listening deeply. We urge all our Elected Officials/Officials to do the same. Deep listening is an action word. Anything else is silencing. Directly impacted community voices and the voices of those doing the work need to be listened to because
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, spoke of The Beloved Community saying, while not devoid of conflict, it is free of violence. Collective impact can bring positive lasting change! This resolution was passed by both the City and County Commissions. We believe this should be a joint Public Health focused effort between both Commissions, with ongoing communication, to support moving forward together in equity.

We are not looking for quick actions that will result in harm or unintended consequences. We are looking for actions that center equity, anti-racism, inclusion and are trauma informed. It takes all of us to do this work so that we do not lose yet another Beloved Community member to gun violence. As always, we want to do this work in collaboration with you!

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