I greet you in the name of peace hoping that all are finding their way during this time of a historic worldwide global pandemic, social and political unrest. It has been a challenge for us all to navigate and operate in these troubling times where we have seen an uptick in gun violence across the country. Not only have we seen an uptick there, but also in homicides, shooting assaults, criminal activity involving juveniles stealing cars, participating in robberies, and shooting assaults. We in New Haven are not the only ones encountering this continuing escalation of gun violence and related crimes. The difference is that in New Haven we have been working at reducing these incidents for years and have established some beneficial collaborative partnerships with clergy, nonprofit organizations, service providers, the judicial system, non-traditional community leaders and the full gamut of law enforcement local, state and federal that have proven effective. Yes, it may seem that we are being overwhelmed, but the pandemic will not last forever.
In the meantime we need to do everything possible to do what we can and not lose faith that the violence can be resolved. As we learn to operate in this new normal, let us encourage all that can and will to do what we can to assist in this reduction. The violence circumventing our communities will not be resolved or reduced if folk place their heads in the sand to avoid the gun violence in our midst. We can not wait for the bodies of one of our son’s or daughter’s to drop in the aftermath of a gun violence incident. We need not only for law enforcement to address gun violence, but for everyone to become involved. Sometimes intervention in the form of a kind word or gesture can decrease tempers. What happened to the village mentality so many of us that are older grew up in? What happens to those that advocate they are staunch supporters of the people, but do nothing and say so much in public settings and in the media.
We are truly living in a challenging and trying time. The only way we can overcome these challenges is by us all working together. There is power in numbers and your voices and synergy are needed to reduce the gun violence and chaos we have witnessed in past months. We need some community maturation, it’s time out for ego and personalities that get in the way for our communities to unify while our children are dying and continuing to be incarcerated. You don’t have to look far in our city to see the turmoil and heartache that is shrouding our communities in continual grief. How long must parents continue to bury their children. Please, I am asking for your assistance and I am humbly at your service. I can’t help you if I don’t know you or your circumstances. Let’s work on changing this model to one that will benefit us all.
I am soliciting all, young and old, to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or via my mobile telephone of (203) 314-6804 to contact me if you have any ideas you would like to see implemented. Any activity virtual, faith-based, addressing youth, if you know someone who is a second chance citizen encountering hardships in obtaining sustainable employment, or other needs. We are here to help with a hand-up and not a hand-out. Let us strive to work together in this new year.
In Peace, Stacy