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Save Rochester-BLM Wants the Community’s Input at Upcoming Leadership Meeting on Gun Violence

By Tyronda James
tyrondajames@minorityreporter.net

As the surge in gun violence ensues and the city of Rochester sees 43 homicides in 2021, Save Rochester-Black Lives Matter (BLM) calls for the Rochester community to come together with concrete thoughts and ideas. 

At a press conference, Monday, August 9, Save Rochester-BLM, organizer and founder, Mike Johnson announced the opportunity for the community to submit proposals for an upcoming strategic planning and intervention network meeting, to be held on August 17th at 2:00 p.m. at Danforth Community Center, 200 West Avenue, Rochester,  New York 14611.

“If you have concrete ideas on how to solve violence, we want you at the table,” Johnson said.

“So we can start to secure some of these resources that president Biden has promised to end gun violence”

Save Rochester has been communicating with Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley’s office and Rochester Police Chief Herriot Sullivan to discuss ways to connect with the community and curb the gun violence that plagues the city.  Johnson said Chief Herriott-Sullivan, Doorley, the VIPER Task Force, among others have confirmed attendance for the meeting.

The Strategic Planning and Intervention Network meeting is open to the general public, to participate individuals or groups must RSVP and submit a detailed outline of gun violence proposal to contact@saverochester.org.

Once you have submitted your proposal outline a representative from Save Rochester will contact you to let you know the status of your submission.

“With these people at the table, we want to talk about things like, of course, President Biden issued a slew of new gun control measures, executive order on gun control,” Johnson said.

“We want to invite the community to come on in and give proposals for that funding to be available for us, in the areas that are most impacted by gun violence.”

Johnson said that it would be limited to five groups or speakers and each group/speaker will get a total of 10 minutes to present their proposals, including questions and answers.

Frank Camp, RPD spokesperson said the Chief is familiar with Mikey Johnson and his group. He said the RPD “is committed to sitting down with them in order to engage in meaningful dialogue that will bridge any gap between the community and RPD,” Camp said.

“Especially if it can lead to a reduction in gun violence.”

The organization believes that Black Lives Matter all the time and said that gun violence is another BLM issue that is scarcely mentioned in discussions about people of color, not just surviving but thriving, in America.

Johnson stood with youth from a summer job program, working as community outreach interns learning how to manage money, to build networks, about resources how to serve our community. He said they still think defunding the police and reallocating funds to youth programs is beneficial.

“These young people are very aware of what’s going on in their communities and have solutions. We know there are other people in the community that have solutions. As leaders, activists, and neighbors we must develop practical solutions and engage in rational discourse to promote safety and peace for our communities and especially for our children,” Johnson said.

“Our goal at the end of the day is to preserve life. Now the next step is to be able to turn those solutions that we have ideas into concrete steps.”