By: Andy Sheehan and Jessica Guay/KDKA-TV News
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey is in Homewood Tuesday night after calling a community meeting to address the rise in gun violence that has claimed the lives of younger and younger victims.
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In preparation, the mayor walked the streets of the neighborhood this afternoon, speaking to residents and community leaders about their concerns.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey @gainey_ed said we don’t have to like each other but we have to get together because our kids are dying. Hundreds of people who want to help end violence attend this community gathering in Homewood. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/Pyuei0grBG
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) March 22, 2022
The meeting at the Community Empowerment Association is underway, but earlier Tuesday, the mayor had a head start addressing the community.
With a crowd in tow, Gainey took to the streets before the meeting and felt the pulse of people like Michael Chatterfield about the climate of violence that has gripped the community.
“I’m afraid to send my children outside, afraid that someone will be shot. There’s just too much shooting,” Chatterfield said.
Gainey has vowed to take the issue of gun violence — particularly young people with guns — head on. Based on the input of the residents who live there, he will try to create an action plan to deal with the crisis.
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“The mayor really wanted to take some time to have respectful, thoughtful, and calm conversations with members of the Homewood community. He firmly believes that if we are to make this city a welcoming, safe city, we must start by listening to those affected by the violence in our community,” said spokeswoman Maria Montaño.
WATCH: Jessica Guay of KDKA reports
After the community meetings, Gainey says he will enlist the participation of the broader community – the hospitals, universities, corporations and foundations. He calls the violence a public health crisis and wants to develop a comprehensive plan to combat it.
“We’ve got to do something. Everyone. This is our town,” Gainey said.
Gainey has a head start on solving the problem in Homewood, where he is already spoken to by many by his first name.
“He always said he wanted to do it. I believe in him,” Chatterfield said.
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Gainey invited all interested parties to attend the meeting. He believes the problem is beyond the city and police’s capabilities and needs to involve the entire city.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/03/22/mayor-ed-gainey-gun-violence-community-meeting-homewood/ Mayor Ed Gainey calls Homewood community meetings to address gun violence – CBS Pittsburgh