African American Mayors Influence and Actions Toward Gun Reform
Across the United States, government leaders are often challenged to implement new legislation that will address the concerns of the community. Recent tragedies, such as the Orlando Shooting in Orlando, Florida and reoccurring police shootings, have shifted the nation’s attention to gun reform in its entirety. Mayors and community leaders have joined together to make an influential change in the towns and communities they serve. Studies have shown that there a significant change in minority communities with an African American mayor. Having an African-American mayor, in particular, makes a difference in the job prospects of black residents. Statistics state the following:
- Under an African-American mayor, the unemployment rate for black residents drops by 1.5 percentage points.
- African Americans are more likely to find roles in city government positions.
- Wages go up around 6 percent, more black residents join the workforce, and those who did find jobs tend to keep them slightly longer
African American mayors have made countless efforts to improve the livelihood of their communities and work diligently to adopt gun control laws that protect residents, as well as second amendment rights provided by United States Constitution. In Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Frank Jackson adopted a set a of gun control laws. In a written statement, Mayor Jackson stated: “The City’s new laws mirror current state misdemeanor firearms offenses and address concerns with the responsible use of firearms in an effort to reduce gun violence, protect the City’s youth, and make Cleveland’s neighborhoods
safer,”. “These new laws do not limit the rights of our citizens to own firearms. This is an appropriate step to ensure that second amendment rights are protected while ensuring that weapons are not misused.”
After countless incidents centered around the need for improved gun laws, communities have gathered together to protest and lobby for reform. African American mayors have remained at the forefront of this issue urging federal lawmakers to approve federal gun legislation. “How many more lives must be needlessly lost before Congress takes action to impose even the most basic, common sense, and bipartisan reforms on the sale and distribution of guns?” Mayor Ras Baraka (Newark, NJ) said in a statement, a day after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the single deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Mayors across the nation have answered the call to present much need legislation that will protect their communities.
RESOURCES ON GUN LAW
- Frank Jackson adopted set of sweeping gun control laws – new city gun laws protect residents and 2nd Amendment rights http://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/index.ssf/2015/04/cleveland_mayor_frank_jackson_54.html
- Ferguson, Baltimore and the importance of African American mayors https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/05/05/african-american-mayors-make-difference-for-african-american-residents/g2dDUpwwAf5zqICto9zPVP/story.html
- Black lawmakers block Emanuel’s gun bill http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-11-08/news/ct-met-illinois-legislature-emanuel-guns-1108-20131108_1_gun-bill-gun-legislation-lawmakers
- Baltimore marks 211 homicides; mayor takes aim at gun control http://www.wbaltv.com/news/baltimore-marks-211-homicides-mayor-takes-aim-at-gun-control/34806622
- Mayors stand up to American gun lobby http://www.citymayors.com/society/usa-gun-control.html
- Mayors Urger Gun Control, Unity As Towns Across N.J. Announce Vigils for Orlando: http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2016/06/newark_to_host_monday_vigil_for_olando_shooting_vi.html