The National League of Cities (NLC) applauds President Biden’s creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence, a pivotal step in addressing one of our nation’s most pressing challenges. Gun violence affects communities of all sizes across America, and it is heartening to see the administration prioritize this critical issue. NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force and subsequent work with municipalitiesuplift the collaborative work in communities to prevent violence and move toward safer cities, towns, and villages.
“In our city, we understand the importance of working with community to address public safety,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, co-chair of NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce. “The needs and desires of our community must always be at the center of our efforts to reduce gun violence. Within our public safety ecosystem, we approach the challenge holistically from all levels in order to refresh at-risk areas with a full spectrum of services that address the causes and conditions of crime. In treating public safety as a public health issue, we lead with both head and heart while focusing on hard data and analysis to serve as the basis for compassion and care. Newark commends President Biden’s creation of this critical Office of Gun Violence Prevention and we stand ready to support and push this effort to become the national standard for public safety.”
“Gun violence is an incredibly serious issue in all American cities and addressing it requires collaboration and a comprehensive approach,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, co-chair of NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. “America’s cities commend this leadership and stand ready to work together with our federal partners.”
Local elected officials play a vital role in addressing gun violence, as they are on the front lines alongside impacted communities. They understand the unique challenges and needs of their constituents and are committed to finding practical solutions. NLC urges the new White House Office of Gun Violence to work closely with local leaders, including those leading local offices of violence prevention and neighborhood safety, recognizing their expertise and experience in developing policies that can make a difference.
In addressing gun violence, it is essential to take into consideration the intersections with race and equity. Over the last several years, gun violence has had unfortunate and traumatic impacts on educational institutions, places of worship, and other public places within American municipalities. This epidemic disproportionately impacts underserved communities, and any meaningful solution must be in collaboration with residents of these communities. We encourage the new office to prioritize equitable and inclusive policies, ensuring that all Americans have equal protection under the law.
Furthermore, the success of any initiative to reduce gun violence depends on collaboration. NLC urges the White House Office of Gun Violence to bring together various stakeholders, including federal, state, and local officials, gun rights advocates, community violence intervention leaders, survivors of gun violence, legal experts, law enforcement officials, and medical and mental health providers. By working collaboratively, we can harness the collective expertise and insights needed to recommend effective solutions to reduce gun violence in the United States.
NLC looks forward to working with the new office to create safer communities and protect our residents from the devastating impact of gun violence. Together, we can make meaningful progress toward a safer and more equitable America.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.