As a registered and voting citizen of the United States of America, I join with my fellow Americans in calling upon our duly elected legislators in the U.S Congress to immediately and responsibly address the issue of violence, particularly homicide, by recognizing:
Homicide In America As A Public Health Crisis;
By implementing legislative reforms to reduce the number of
Homicides and Violent Incidents across the nation
Specifically, we are calling on Congress to:
- Recognize the devastation of homicide and violence suffered by communities which experience a disproportionate amount of violence across the nation; and the traumatic repercussions experienced by children, youth and families who are constant witnesses to these events by providing funding, research and trauma informed programming to combat these circumstances. These resources and programs will serve to interrupt the ‘contagion’ of violence and the number of homicides in heavily impacted communities.
- Deem homicide a Public Health Epidemic for men of color ages 14-34, as supported by our nation’s statistical data. Furthermore, to allocate funding, education, advertising and research resources to address the rapidly growing social crisis.
- Pass gun bills, pending in the House and the Senate, that will minimally, reduce gun violence through background checks; closing gun show loopholes; and restricting the sale of guns to individuals who are under age; mentally ill, or have criminal records.
- Reform and amend the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) in order to provide equal access to benefits, without discrimination, to families of victims of crime in communities with high rates of homicide. In addition, to provide community based mental health services and supports to families who have lost loved ones to violence.