“Mayor Charles E. Smith is a graduate of Central Arizona College and the University of Phoenix. Charles earned an Associates and Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Mayor Smith is a former Major League Baseball player and has spent the last sixteen years playing for teams including the Florida Marlins, Atlanta Braves, and has played overseas […]
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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
President Obama to Participate in Town Hall on Race With David Muir – Thursday @ 8pm
By ABC NEWS Jul 12, 2016, 6:39 PM ET
With the recent tragic events in Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas still fresh on the minds of Americans, President Obama is expected to participate in a Disney Media Networks town hall this week titled “The President and the People: A National Conversation.”
The town hall will be moderated by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and held in Washington D.C. It will focus on candid discussions on race relations, justice, policing and equality by the members of the community. ESPN’s Jemele Hill will join Muir.
The one-hour event will come just days after President Obama attended a Dallas memorial for five police officers shot dead last week by a sniper. It also comes after two black men were killed by officers in Louisiana and Minnesota — controversial shootings that sparked a wave of protests.
“We turn on the TV or surf the internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn and people retreat to their respective corners,” Obama said today during the memorial. “We see all this, and it’s hard not to think sometimes that the center won’t hold. And that things might get worse. I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. … I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America.”
The town hall is set to air Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and will be simulcast commercial-free on ABC, ESPN, Freeform, ABCNews.com, Freeform Digital, Watch ABC, Watch ESPN, Yahoo, ABC News’ Facebook page and YouTube channel as well as ABC Radio.
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.
Statement from Mayor Lester E. Taylor III on Recent Shootings of Unarmed Men and Police
East Orange, NJ, July 11, 2016: The tragic incidents of last week weigh heavily on my heart and my mind. Captured on video, shared on social media, replayed endlessly on our televisions, and splashed across the front pages of our newspapers, the disturbing images from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Falcon Heights, Minnesota and Dallas, Texas have forced Americans to confront a raw set of emotions about racism, injustice and law enforcement.
I’ve had to revisit my own set of emotions and the harsh reality that I am living and raising my three children in a world where we may be judged by the color of our skin and not by the content of our character.
The recent avoidable acts of violence against Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were reactions borne by bias. Statistics show that unarmed black men account for about 40 percent of the people fatally shot by police. When adjusted by population, unarmed black men were seven times as likely as unarmed white men to die from police gunfire. New training techniques, more accountability through reformed laws, and better police hiring practices are just some of the solutions that can help fix a system that has been broken for far too long.
In East Orange, we are blessed to live in a community where our police officers stand apart from other urban communities for equally reflecting the people they serve. The brave men and women of the East Orange Police Department have worked tirelessly to drive down crime, enhance community police relations, and increase youth outreach. The result is a city that is safer than it has been in 50 years. As our own police – and law enforcement everywhere – continue to cope with the senseless attack against their fellow officers, I urge everyone to continue to show their support and respect for those who selflessly risk their lives daily to protect us from harm.
As we mourn, heal, analyze, and take action, we must unite on what makes us one. We all know someone who could have been Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, or Eric Garner. We must look inward and recognize our equal worth and dispose of the stigmas that surround not only people of color, but Americans from all walks of life. Collectively and individually, we must demand change. Let the action begin with you.