Local groups ask Philly mayor to invest $100 million in gun violence prevention

With more than 500 people shot in Philadelphia so far this year, members of the community have called for the violence to stop.

Video Transcript

- Well, gun violence has plagued the streets of Philadelphia, taking the lives of too many young people. And community groups are working to give the youth a chance by giving them more things to do, more activities. Action News reporter Katie Katro live in north Philadelphia tonight, where a movie night is about to take place there. Hi, Katie.

KATIE KATRO: Hi, Rick. And some kids here are watching a movie. Others are playing bingo. These are teenagers getting off the streets, doing an activity here. This is with Nomo Foundation. Organizations like this say they need funding from the city in order to provide safe environments for students and children and teenagers to stay off of the streets and do something safe.

MOVITA JOHSON-HARRELL: We need to stop trying to put a Band-Aid over gaping, open, seething wounds.


KATIE KATRO: Mothers who have lost multiple family members to gun violence are crying for help.

MOVITA JOHSON-HARRELL: No family should have to suffer this.

KATIE KATRO: Today, more than 40 violence-prevention organizations gathered at City Hall calling for Mayor Kenney and City Council to invest $100 million for safer communities in Philadelphia as the gun violence in the city continues to run rampant.

JAMIE GAUTHIER: We're tired of not feeling safe on our own blocks or feeling like we can't send our kids outside to play for fear that they'll be shot.

KATIE KATRO: Organization leaders say the money would be used to expand community-based violence prevention and intervention programs and provide services like therapy.

BRETT WILLIAMS: In the Black and brown communities, it's a stigma to not talk about your emotion, especially as a Black man.

KATIE KATRO: The gun violence has gotten so bad this year that the acting US attorney came to Philadelphia yesterday to address the violence plaguing the city.

JENNIFER ARBITTIER WILLIAMS: We are on pace to surpass 600 homicides this year in Philadelphia.

KATIE KATRO: Teenagers have been gunned down in rec centers this year. One mother says she just moved, afraid for her seven-year-old daughter's life.

SHAWNITA JONES: I was so in fear for my children's life and the city of Philadelphia that I just recently moved from Philadelphia to another state.

KATIE KATRO: So organizations are arguing that if they have the funding for events like this, that families won't have to move out. I do have a copy of the letter that these organizations sent to Mayor Kenney. A spokesperson for the city did respond to us, and they say the mayor plans to announce how much funding he can provide next week when he talks about his new budget proposal and his five-year plan.

Reporting life here in north Philadelphia, Katie Katro, Channel 6 Action News. Rick?

- Katie, thank you.