Giffords Endorses Alex Padilla for Senate at Gun Violence Memorial in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Gun Violence Memorial, the third stop on a regional tour, pays tribute to the 3,400 Californians who lost their lives to gun violence in 2020
Los Angeles, CA — Today Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, hosted a press conference to unveil its Gun Violence Memorial installation in Los Angeles. The memorial, which is open to the public through Friday, October 22nd, commemorates the 3,400 Californians who died from gun violence in 2020.
California saw homicides jump by 30% between 2019 and 2020, the largest increase in state history. Gun deaths, which accounted for 91% of homicides, disproportionately impacted Black and Latino Californians.
At today’s press conference, Giffords PAC also announced its endorsement of Senator Alex Padilla in the 2022 cycle. During his short time in the US Senate, Senator Padilla has become a prominent voice on the issue of gun violence prevention as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His support for legislation like the Background Check Expansion Act and the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, which would increase funding for community violence intervention programs, has helped shape a gun safety agenda that has the potential to bring about real change.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“Tragically, California and the city of Los Angeles have not been immune from the deadly surges in gun violence that our country has seen over the past year and a half. Both our nation’s and the state’s homicide rates increased by around 30%—the largest increase in California’s history. California’s legislators have taken important steps to protect residents from gun violence in recent years, including investing $200 million in lifesaving violence intervention programs. But we clearly still have a long ways to go. We will continue to see tragedy, trauma, and loss at devastating rates unless our leaders in Congress take action.
Senator Padilla is the type of gun violence champion we desperately need more of in Washington DC. He has supported critical gun safety laws and lifesaving violence intervention programs, which are driven by the communities of color most impacted by gun homicides and nonfatal gun injuries. It’s clear from the terrible spikes in gun violence we’ve seen in recent months that our work as a movement and as a country is far from done. We must send Senator Padilla back to the Senate in 2022.”
US Senator Alex Padilla:
“Having grown up in a community that was impacted by gun violence, advocating for smart gun safety legislation has been a priority of mine throughout my years in public service. GiffordsPAC is doing important political and organizing work to stand up for lifesaving gun laws. I’m committed to continuing this work as senator and am honored to have their support in my race.”
At today’s press conference, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler, Assemblyman Reggie Jones Sawyer, Giffords Community Violence Initiative Director Paul Carrillo, and gun violence survivor LaWanda Hawkins highlighted the need for sustainable solutions to gun violence, particularly long-term funding for community violence intervention programs.
In conjunction with the memorial, we’re launching a week of advertising throughout Los Angeles to shine a spotlight on our gun violence crisis and the action that needs to be taken. We’re running ads on a network of 20 digital roadside billboards seen by millions of California drivers each week. We are also taking the message on the road with a series of LED billboard trucks that will carry the message throughout Los Angeles, including an emphasis around the Staples Center when the LA Lakers play the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles Gun Violence Memorial is an offshoot of the national Gun Violence Memorial that Giffords erected on the National Mall in Washington DC in April. This national memorial featured 40,000 flowers for the 40,000 lives that are lost to the gun violence epidemic annually. Giffords has also brought the Gun Violence Memorial tour to Philadelphia and New York City to remember gun violence victims in Pennsylvania and New York State.
Nationally, new provisional data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 45,000 people died due to gun violence last year—a 15% increase from 2019. That’s an average of more than 120 gun deaths each day. Giffords and its partners are calling on Congress to take immediate action to turn the tide on this deadly epidemic.
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