Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

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Alison Alter
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Colleagues;

I drafted the post below before learning of the killing downtown yesterday evening. While we do not yet know all the details of the tragic events, I feel even greater urgency in wanting to advance our longstanding efforts to reduce violence in our community.

As you know, in August of 2019 Council established a Task Force on Gun Violence. I sponsored that effort along with Council Members Tovo, Ellis, Renteria, and Kitchen. On July 22, 2020 we received the Task Force’s Final Report. I would like to thank all the Task Force members for their contributions and hard work. I am deeply grateful for their thoughtful recommendations.

The Task Force’s key suggestion is to create an appropriately resourced Office of Violence Prevention. I have been following their work closely and in anticipation of their final direction, you may recall that on June 11th I offered an amendment to item 96 calling on the City Manager to explore reallocating resources to new city units, such as an Office of Violence Prevention, as part of our work to reimagine public safety. We also discussed this at a recent Public Safety Committee meeting.

I am writing today to indicate that I intend to advance this recommendation and other related actions in our upcoming budget process. In addition, to the extent necessary, I will put forward a separate resolution. Knowing how much this Council cares about violence prevention and especially stemming gun violence, I invite my colleagues to indicate if they would like to collaborate on the next steps of this issue.

Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
Deena Estrada
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:45 pm

Re: Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

Post by Deena Estrada »

On behalf of Council Member Ellis:
Thank you, CM Alter. I appreciate the work of the Task Force on Gun Violence, and would like to work with you on their recommendation of creating an Office of Violence Prevention. While we wait for more information about the tragic death of Garrett Foster, there are short and long term actions we can take to prevent gun violence in our community. This budget cycle is an opportunity to consider such investments.

As you are aware, in February, Council passed my resolution (20200206-053) to research potential funding for a safe storage campaign. On June 1, we received a memo from APD that there were no additional funding opportunities, either internally or externally, available for such a campaign. I plan to pursue opportunities for a safe storage campaign, as well as additional proposals to potentially include in a packet of budget amendments.
Chief of Staff
Kathie Tovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 am

Re: Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

Post by Kathie Tovo »

Thank you for leading on this and other initiatives to strengthen our City’s gun violence prevention strategies, CM Alter. I supported the creation of the Gun Violence Task Force and sincerely appreciate the time its members spent crafting their report and providing recommendations. I would like to sign on as a co-sponsor of this next step to implement their recommendation to create an Office of Violence Prevention in Austin.

While details of the fatal shooting of Garrett Foster are still unfolding, I grieve with his family and with the witnesses whose lives are forever changed by last night’s senseless event. Garrett’s death is a tragic reminder that no community is free from the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our country. While far too many mass shootings have traumatized our nation, we must also work to curb the steady drumbeat of gun violence that claims 100 American lives every day.

I stand firmly committed to the work ahead. Thanks again for your leadership, CM Alter.
Council District 9
Leslie Pool
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

Post by Leslie Pool »

CM Alter, I would like to join you as a sponsor on additional initiatives that strengthen our work around ending gun violence. The Garrett Foster shooting drives home, once more, how critical it is to end gun violence — full stop — and I echo entirely CM Tovo’s comments.

I, too, grieve with Garrett Foster's family and with all who witnessed the senseless event. It’s got to stop.

I support your Office of Violence Prevention recommendation and other related actions in our FY21 budget process. I agree that this Council has demonstrated how much we care about violence prevention and stemming gun violence, and I look forward to collaborating on next steps.

Thank you.

Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7
Ann Kitchen
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Gun Violence Task Force: Office of Violence Prevention

Post by Ann Kitchen »

CM Alter

Thank you for your leadership on pursuing this recommendation for the Office of Violence Prevention. And thank you also to CM Ellis for her efforts related to safe storage.

I appreciated the opportunity to co-sponsor your resolution related to the Gun Violence Task Force and would also appreciate the opportunity to cosponsor this initiative to create an Office of Violence Prevention.

I view violence, particularly gun violence, to be a public health issue for our community. The trauma associated with gun violence haunts individuals and families, resulting in serious and life-threatening consequences that too often continue well after the violent incident. We have the opportunity to attach this issue as a public health threat for our community.

Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5
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