Reverend Al Sharpton, John Jay President Jeremy Travis to Participate in Community Forum

City Hall – Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Inez Dickens announced today that they will convene a summit in Harlem to combat gun violence in the community. The summit will take place in the auditorium at Harlem Hospital on June 3rd from 4 to 7 p.m.,

Reverend Al Sharpton will join Council Members Robert Jackson and Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis, members of the clergy and anti-gun violence activists in an effort to find ways to fight and prevent gang and gun violence.

“For many communities across our City, gun violence is an unremitting fact of life,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “It’s time for that to change. We cannot allow events like this to continue, not on our watch. I want to thank everyone for their participation, and I look forward to a productive meeting. Let’s send the message loud and clear – enough is enough!”

“We have lost another one of our children to alleged gang violence,” said Council Member Inez Dickens. “Cory Squire, a young father, was viciously struck down. Our children are being maimed and are being killed in pandemic proportions. It must stop now. The health and welfare of our young has always been my top priority. But we must do more. I am going to call on my colleagues, Harlem Mother Saves, law enforcement, our religious community, our service provider organizations to work together with one singular mission, the critical urgency to SAVE OUR CHILDREN.”

“I want to thank Speaker Quinn and the City Council for calling for and convening the Harlem Gun Violence Summit because shootings and violence within our community are an outrage. These are issues that we must confront diligently together,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network.

“Everyday, we hear about another victim in the growing plague of gun violence,” said Jackie Rowe-Adams, Co-founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. “We must move quickly if we are going to confront this growing epidemic before another senseless act takes the life of another New Yorker. Convening community leaders, parents and elected officials is not just the first step toward sending a message, it’s also the way we will rid our communities of these devastating tragedies. I beg anyone who may know about this crime, if you saw something, say something.”

“We can make a real difference in reducing gun violence by pulling it out by its roots,” said Dan Gross, Founder of PAX, Real Solutions to Gun Violence. “Opening a dialogue with the communities that have been affected by this epidemic is an essential step in breaking a cycle of violence that has claimed the lives of far too many people. I want to thank the City Council for taking this action, and I look forward to a productive summit.”

In February, Speaker Quinn outlined two initiatives in her State of the City Address designed to combat gun violence. They included:
• Passing legislation to heighten penalties for those who commit gang initiation crime – Current State statutes can require as little as fifteen days in jail for anyone who, as part of gang initiation practices, encourages another person to commit a crime, puts other people at risk of physical injury, or physically threatens another person. The Council will create two new statues to increase jail time up to one year for those who engage in this behavior as part of gang initiation acts.

• Engage students in the fight against crime – The Council will partner with the Department of Education and PAX, an anti-gun violence organization, on a collaborative youth-outreach program in 10 city schools. Encouraging students to come forward with knowledge of dangerous activity, PAX will establish an anonymous hotline that students may call to report anyone suspected of having a gun or planning an assault.