Kinsey leads collaborative effort to address gun violence in Northwest Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 -- State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., held a news conference Wednesday where he rolled out a new collaborative effort called the “Third Thursday Initiative” to educate residents about resources to address and prevent gun violence.

This initiative will begin Thursday, March 17 and occur on the third Thursday of every month thereafter. Community organizers, in partnership with the city’s Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety and the 14th and 35th police districts, will travel to a targeted hotspot and pass out information to residents in that area. This information will inform people of community, city and state resources that are available to them in the event that they see crime taking place.

Kinsey said the initiative will bring all folks together to target the gun violence in the Northwest section of Philadelphia.

Kinsey was joined yesterday by:

  • state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald and Darisha Parker, both D-Phila.
  • Pastor Rob Harrison, New Journey Christian Center.
  • Mama Chris from Northwest Community Coalition for Youth.
  • Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal.
  • Erica Atwood, city of Philadelphia Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice & Public Safety.
  • Northwest Police Inspector Nicholas Smith, Captain Myesha Massey, Captain Austin Fraser
  • G. Lamar Stewart, district attorney’s office.
  • Joey Budd, Men who Care.
  • Mike Brown, Action for Justice Collective.

Kinsey said he is optimistic about this new collaborative effort.

“It is important that we have as many people as possible working together to eradicate this gun violence epidemic,” Kinsey said. “I am optimistic about working with my legislative colleagues, city officials, law enforcement, grassroots organizations and the community at large to can make an impact on ending this epidemic.”

Parker said she is hopeful that a collaborative effort will provide solutions to gun violence.

“We can’t keep waking up to yellow tape and bloodshed,” Parker said. “We need to make these collaborative efforts available to everyone who wants to help us in the fight against gun violence.”

Fitzgerald said she believes that working collectively can help enhance resources and solutions for residents.

“The eradication of gun violence has to be an effort that we work on collectively,” Fitzgerald said. “We can take the good resources we have access to and work across communities to make Philadelphia a safer place.”

Photos from Wednesday’s event are available here and video is available video here.