Motheres in Charge.

Recently, a reporter asked Mayor Kenney if he had met with any survivors of gun violence in the past. According to his office, the Mayor had met with survivor families when it did not affect ongoing investigations. During our meeting, he promised to continue to do so. On Monday, August 1, leaders of the New Mother’s Movement met with Mayor Kenney to address concerns about the growing gun violence in Philadelphia. The agenda was short, to the point, and well received by Mayor Kenney, Managing City Director Tumar Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Office of Children and Family Vanessa Garrett, and Senior Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety Erica Atwood. “No one can do this alone,” said Dr. Dorothy Johnson Speight, Founder of Mothers In Charge, “we need to be united”. Everyone in the room echoed that sentiment. The Mother’s Movement is composed of existing gun violence prevention advocacy leaders in Philadelphia who know the pain and are desperate to see an end to the ongoing carnage. Among the leaders are Dr. Dorothy Johnspon-Speight (Mother’s in Charge), Dr. Movita Johnson Harrell (The Charles Foundation), Chantay Love (EMIR), Felicia Pendelton (Mothers UnIted by Angels / NOMO), Terrez McCleary (Moms Bonded by Grief), Victoria Wyle, (The Donte Wyle Foundation), Tahira Fortune (Voices by Choices), Cheryl Seay (Jarell Seay Love and Laughter Foundation), Harriet Ahmad (Sultan Jihad Ahmad Foundation) and Aleida Garcia (National Homicide Justice Alliance).

So, what did we talk about? We asked the Mayor to sign Resolution 200447, which the City Council passed but was not signed by the Mayor. This resolution calls for a State of Emergency, curfew, weekly reports from the City Leaders of the gun violence crisis, and increased initiatives to reduce gun violence. The resolution would also require recreation centers to employ security and have a police presence in the area so that the youth and people that use the facilities can feel safe as they go and return home from the centers.

Motheres in Charge.

We also spoke at length about increasing video camera surveillance to deter crime and serve as evidence. Since witnesses of homicide are often unwilling to come forward with information, solving shootings and murders have increasingly relied on video cameras. There is a correlation between cameras and crime reduction. When a crime is caught on video, there is a better chance of finding the perpetrator and producing the video in court as evidence. With a low clearance rate and a need to deter the would-be shooters and arrest homicide suspects, cameras are an excellent investment. Philadelphia already has a camera program for businesses that encourage businesses to install external cameras on their property, and participants can receive a refund of about 50 % of the cost. The City also agrees with residents to link their home cameras to the police. In addition, The Mother’s Movement advocates for cameras everywhere in the city, focusing on the highest crime areas. Newark, New Jersey, and other Cities around the country have seen a correlation between surveillance and crime reduction. At the end of the meeting, Mayor Kenney said, “keeping Philadelphians safe is my administration’s first priority,” He invited us all to attend quarterly high-level meetings on gun violence and participate in monthly meetings with the Police Captains.

So, stay tuned for more information about gun violence reduction initiatives, crime, and safety!

Here is the link to apply for the business cameras.


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