Padilla, Lee Hold Roundtable Discussion on Combatting Gun Violence
OAKLAND, CA — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.-13) held a roundtable discussion with community leaders, constituents, and local elected officials to address the recent rise in gun violence in Oakland, provide legislative updates, and discuss prevention efforts at the federal level.
The roundtable was attended by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff; Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bass; Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Carol Fife, Sheng Thao, Noel Gallo, Loren Taylor, and Treva Reid; Alameda County Supervisors Dave Brown and Keith Carson; Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Sondra Aguilera; Youth ALIVE! Executive Director Anne Marks; Unity Council CEO Chris Iglesias; and additional community members.
“We’ve seen devastating acts of gun violence play out across the country, and we can no longer let these events pass by without fighting for meaningful change,” said Senator Padilla. “Earlier this year, Congress passed the most significant gun safety legislation in nearly thirty years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and we started to break the chokehold the gun lobby has held on Congress for decades. But we must continue building on this momentum. From expanding background checks to banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, there’s more we must do to get weapons of war off our streets and save lives.”
“I am pleased that Senator Alex Padilla and East Bay community leaders joined me in a roundtable discussion today about the alarming rate of gun violence, crime and public safety concerns in Oakland,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Words cannot express my sorrow and condolences to the loved ones we have lost due to gun violence. Today, we discussed how systemic racism plays out in our communities. The majority of victims of gun violence are unfortunately black and brown people. Our discussions today reaffirmed our commitment to fight for safe communities, support legislation to get the guns off of the streets and deal with the root causes of crime. Our young people deserve investments in education, jobs, housing, mental health, social and racial justice efforts and more to ensure the quality of life they deserve. Actions speak louder than words. I thank all of the participants for their contributions to the discussion and look forward to lending federal support for many of the strategies proposed today.”
“There has been so much violence and pain recently in Oakland, but they say those who are closest to the pain are closest to the solution,” said Anne Marks, Executive Director of Youth ALIVE!. “With Congresswoman Lee’s leadership, we are closer than ever to real, lasting solutions through investment in community-led, cost effective strategies like ours at Youth ALIVE!. We can save lives using a public health approach to violence. “
In the last few months, Senator Padilla held a virtual roundtable discussion with community leaders on addressing gun violence in communities across California. Padilla has also used his platform as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge Congress to act on gun violence legislation and continuously makes the case for ensuring law enforcement officials and mental health professionals have the tools to protect children and communities.
In June, President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The first major gun violence prevention legislation passed in nearly three decades, the law includes support for state crisis intervention orders; protections for victims of domestic violence; enhanced background checks for buyers under 21; anti-violence community initiatives; child and family mental health services; and stronger enforcement of gun trafficking and straw purchases.