“Every person deserves to live their lives free from fear”

PHILADELPHIA — Today, Councilmember Helen Gym released the following statement in response to the shooting at Philadelphia’s July Fourth celebration:

“I am horrified and outraged by last night’s shooting on the Parkway. Our prayers go out to the injured police officers and to a terrorized public who should never experience anything like this. Whether it’s in the daily life of neighborhoods, on the Parkway, at a university, or on South Street — every person deserves to live their life free from fear.

“Jim Kenney may be defeated but this city won’t be. There are thousands of lives on the line in the remainder of his term and a generation of youth who are looking to us to be the cavalry that Harrisburg and Congress refuse to be. We must deliver and we must act.   

“We must expand and scale up our anti-violence programs, and bring together the Police Department, field experts, community members as well as City Council, the Mayor, the District Attorney and others in an all-out coordinated strategy to end violence on our streets. That’s why I have called to expand violence interruption across the city, which after years is still inexplicably in a pilot stage. I’ve called for investments in young people — mentorship, employment, mental health and recreation programs that can pull them out of a path of violence. We need to improve efforts in getting guns off the streets and we must concentrate on those who are most likely to harm and be harmed and provide serious, aggressive interventions. 

“We must resist hopelessness at this moment. We are a great city whose neighborhoods and people have never quit on themselves or one another. I know that when we pull together, we will come out of this dark moment. I’m calling on us to hope, to believe in one another, and to act with all the urgency our city needs and deserves.”