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Public Safety

IL Attorney General commits to work with Metro IL to reduce gun violence & address separation of immigrant families

The new Illinois Attorney General followed through on his commitment to meet with IL Metro IAF leaders once elected.  A team of 10 leaders met with the Attorney General to seek his commitment to support Do Not Stand Idly By campaign to reduce gun violence as well as explore avenues to address the separation of families due to current immigration policies.  Next steps are in place to meet with top staff in order to move these issues forward as well as other pressing issues related to diverting mentally ill from criminal justice system, including affordable housing.

NJ Gov. Murphy signs on to Do Not Stand Idly By, releases crime gun data by manufacturer

Rev. Alonzo Perry speaks at a press conference with NJ Gov. Phil Murphy and AG Gurbir Grewal
At a press conference in Jersey City on March 12th, New Jersey Together & Jersey City Together welcomed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to announce that the state would be signing on to Metro IAF's Do Not Stand Idly By campaign. In addition, AG Grewal announced further steps becoming the first state to release crime gun data by manufacturer. So far in 2019, Smith & Wesson has been the #1 crime gun in New Jersey.

DNSIB & Common Ground's Firearm Safety Expo Brings Law Enforcement and Gun Safety Companies Together

More than 100 law enforcement officers, healthcare leaders, investors and public officials gathered January 16 for a Firearm Safety Expo to see what the future of firearms looks like. Hosted by Common Ground, with support from Metro IAF, the expo provided a forum for gun safety innovators to present technology such as biometric locks, user authentication, and theft-tracking technology, all of which has the potential to reduce the number of people killed by guns every year in America.
 “As much as guns are an incredibly volatile issue in our society,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in his remarks, “we should all be able to gather around the notion that we can make this product safer.” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele added, “What we have, especially in government, is purchasing power… We can make demands and we can have an influence on what kind of guns are bought with that money.”
But the focus was on law enforcement and their reaction to these products. Said Wauwatosa Chief of Police Barry Weber, “It is important that we, as law enforcement officers, see ourselves as playing an overall critical component in shaping the future of firearms development.”
According to exit surveys collected at the event, their reaction was very positive. One hundred percent of the law enforcement said that they found the event informative; 87% said they would consider buying one of the products when they’re available; and 76% said they would recommend one of the devices to a civilian gun owner when the products become available.
The Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) campaign hopes to harness the positive energy from the expo to push the work forward, potentially spurring investment, encouraging public purchasing or creating a public health advocacy arm. This expo could prove to be a pivotal moment in the campaign.  Read the Press Release HERE.
Media Coverage:

BUILD Calls on President Ron Daniels of Johns Hopkins University for Accountable Policing

Over the years, BUILD has heard the residents of Baltimore City demand accountable, relational policing as a solution to the violence of their neighborhoods. Over the past year, BUILD has challenged JHU administrators to be intentional in their community engagement as they consider the creation of their own campus police department. BUILD also challenged JHU to build a department that is transparent and publicly accountable, resulting in numerous provisions written into Maryland SB 793/HB 1094—passed by the General Assembly—that would authorize JHU to launch a police force.


Do Not Stand Idly By Victorious After American Outdoor Brands Corp Shareholder Resolution Passes, Requiring Gun Manufacturer to Report on Gun Violence

Smith & Wesson booth at the 2018 National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas | Photo Credit: Ethan Miller, Staff / Getty Images
A shareholder proposal passed at the annual meeting of AOBC (Smith & Wesson) after Do Not Stand Idly By and ally Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility worked to build support for the proposal. This is the second shareholder resolution to pass requiring a major gun company to report on the use of their products in gun violence and about the development of safer gun products in four months -- shareholders in Sturm Ruger passed an identical resolution in May.
In the weeks leading up to the AOBC meeting, an important breakthrough was made -- due to greater work by sister IAF organizations AIM, in Montgomery County, MD and The Metropolitan Organization, in Houston, TX, DNSIB gained the public support of the leadership of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.  Montgomery County Chief Manger and Houston Chief Acevedo not only wrote to the CEO of AOBC calling on them to engage with them to develop a safety plan, but also co-authored an Op-Ed piece with two IAF clergy leaders that ran in the Houston Chronicle
The company's management was vigorously opposed to the resolution, which they made clear both in writing before the meeting and verbally during the meeting, so this win is even more significant given the number of shares that Executives and Board Members typically control.
This shareholder pressure and police chiefs pressure, coupled with the purchasing power leverage that has been organized through the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign for several years (see RFI now with 130 jurisdictions on board) has the looks of a winning combination.
Press Coverage:

BUILD Wins Commitments from Mayor Pugh to Improve Policing and Jobs, Implement a Parish ID System, and Champion Full Funding of Baltimore Schools

More than 1,100 leaders turn out for June 6th Accountability Action with Baltimore Mayor Pugh.

On June 6, over 1,100 people from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, and belief systems gathered at Kingdom Life Church in West Baltimore to call on Mayor Catherine Pugh to make specific commitments toward reducing violence in Baltimore. New BUILD member institutions Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Patrick’s Catholic Churches from South Baltimore turned out en masse. Together, Sacred Heart and St. Patrick’s brought over 500 people, most of them immigrants, who stood together and were recognized and supported by all in attendance. 
The purpose of the action was to reset BUILD’s public relationship with Mayor Pugh and publicly state our demands to reduce the violence in Baltimore. Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, and other city and state leaders were present at the assembly.
Over the past several months, BUILD issue action teams have researched and developed their top priorities for reducing violence in the city, focusing on issues in the areas of policing & public safety, mental health & addiction, youth opportunities & education, and jobs. The teams’ research was supported by data from BUILD’s 2017 listening campaign of 1,034 residents across Baltimore City. BUILD teams have developed clearly defined goals and demands of Baltimore city’s leaders, including Mayor Pugh.
In the weeks preceding the accountability assembly, BUILD leaders met with Mayor Pugh to define the relationship, clarify expectations, and agree on a format for the assembly. She changed her schedule to attend the action.
On June 6, Mayor Pugh sat in the front row as community leaders —including student leaders from three City schools—shared personal stories that highlighted the urgency of the crisis in the city and demanded that she fulfill her commitments to:
  • End the culture of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department and increase foot posts;
  • Implement a parish ID system to protect the immigrant community of Baltimore;
  • Champion Kirwan Commission recommendations to fully fund Baltimore City schools, ensure the presence of mental health professionals in schools (social workers and counselors), and maintain current levels of out-of-school and community school funding in the budget for the duration of her administration;
  • Work with BUILD and corporate leaders to increase employment for those ready and able to work
Youth leaders from City Springs Elementary/Middle School and Hampstead Hill Academy eloquently and forcefully spoke of kids as young as 10 and 11 writing wills in fear of losing their lives to violence. One young man shared that every day he looks out his school windows and sees the place where Ray Glasgow III, a former student at City Springs, was killed. “I don’t want to be another Ray,” he said.
Antoinette Mugar, Vice President of Harlem Park West Community Association, spoke of being burglarized twice in the last month and being ready to leave the community in which she has resided her whole life. Donald Medley, Turnaround Tuesday leader and Community Health Worker at Johns Hopkins Hospital, countered the myth that Baltimore City doesn’t want to work and celebrated the 500+ people placed in living-wage jobs through Turnaround Tuesday.
Ever Castillo—speaking in both Spanish and English—shared the heartbreaking story of his experience being targeted by criminals who laughed in his face when he called the police because he isn’t a “real American” and would be ignored. When police finally arrived, they spoke to the perpetrators first. Later, Castillo’s family was attacked with box cutters and knives. He asked Mayor Pugh if she would commit to work with the immigrant community to help them feel safe to call the police and request help. 
BUILD successfully gained recognition from the mayor, recognized her in return, and received the public commitments we sought. By organizing the power to get to the table, BUILD won the agreement that had been developed by our issue action teams. 
At the assembly, Mayor Pugh publicly committed to the following:
  • Fully implementing BUILD’s policing recommendations, including an increase in foot patrols within 30 days 
  • Implementing the Baltimore City parish ID system
  • Championing the full funding of Kirwan Commission recommendations
  • Working with the Baltimore City Schools CEO to rally principals, teachers, parents, students, etc. in support of Kirwan funding
  • Maintaining current levels of funding for existing community school and out-of-school programs for remainder of Mayor Pugh’s tenure
  • Making the 30% local hiring and 20% affordable housing mandate (Port Covington precedent) a flagship policy of the city so that all developers coming to Baltimore are required meet these minimum standards
Video of the evening:


My name is Tita Concepcion, I am a member of Our Lady of Presentation – Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, and a long-time resident of the Breukelen Houses in Canarsie. 
This summer I took action at City Hall and confronted NYCHA managers and this mayor for allowing my daughter to be assaulted.  

DNSIB Wins Passage of Sturm Ruger Shareholder Resolution Requiring Safety and Distribution Reporting

Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) leaders speaking out on the need for gun safety 
Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) and our ally, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, won a first-of-its-kind victory in May: 69% of shareholders at Sturm Ruger’s annual meeting voted against management’s advice and in favor of ICCR’s resolution requiring the gun manufacturer to issue a report on the impact of its products on violence in America. DNSIB leaders were present at the meeting, and are continuing to build relationships with major investors across the gun industry to encourage a long-term focus on safer gun technologies and distribution practices.
Press Coverage:

Common Ground Leaders Stop Notorious VLive Strip Club

Dozens of community members and members of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Common Ground attended the License Committee meeting at City Hall. | Photo Credit:  Teran Powell WUWM

Common Ground brought over 35 people to a Milwaukee License Committee hearing on March 6th and stopped the notorious VLive franchise from coming into the neighborhood at 35th Street and Capitol Drive. Rotiesha Nelson, Common Ground member, mother and area resident, lead the opposition: “A strip club in the community is not what we need. Us as a community already face enough challenges.”
We had heard from several sources that Tatou, a club located at 3945 N 35th Street, planned to renew its licenses and then sell to VLive strip club and transfer the licenses.  Tatou has been doing renovations and even put up a VLive sign on their building. Furthermore, auditions were held and a VLive franchise opening in Milwaukee was being promoted on social media.
We feared VLive would bring an increase in crime or sex trafficking as it did in Chicago and Houston. In Chicago, VLive was the source of the highest number of police reports in the area – mainly assaults and theft. That location is now closed. In Houston the County Attorney sued to close down VLive because of crime, including drugs, gambling, prostitution, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, robbery and murder. VLive Houston was shutdown.
Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for sex trafficking.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that many young trafficking victims come from group homes. There are two girls’ group homes on 37th St between Capitol and Keefe – just a few blocks from Tatou.
Common Ground leaders walked the neighborhood around 35th and Capitol talking to parents, residents, businesses, neighborhood groups, churches, daycares, and schools. Despite intimidation, in six days Common Ground collected 234 signatures opposing VLive coming into Tatou’s club. Many of those we met through our walks came to City Hall for the hearing to show their opposition.
After learning that Tatou will not partner with or sell to VLive, Jennifer O’Hear, Director of Common Ground United Parents, said, “We want to thank Alderman Rainey for helping us to stop VLive. We thank the Licensing Committee for acknowledging Common Ground’s role.” She concluded, “We want our concerns to go on the record. We will be watching.”
Because of the outpouring of opposition from the community, not only was Tatou forced to amend this and all future license applications to say they will not partner with or sell to VLive, but also Tatou’s application to renew their alcohol and public entertainment licenses was denied.
Common Ground Lead Organizer, Keisha Krumm, reflected, “In that hearing room we experienced the power of organized people. By coming together in an organized collective, we stopped this deplorable strip club from coming into our neighborhood. We persisted in the face of intimidation and won for our children and the common good.”
“This just shows what we can do when we come together,” said Ms. Nelson after the hearing.