Philadelphia, September 26, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter delivered a joint address with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. titled, “A National Call for Action to End the Violence Crisis in US Cities.” The speech served as a national call to action to end America’s culture of violence in urban areas across the country, calling on the federal government, non-profit organizations, businesses and concerned citizens to rally together and address what has become an epidemic—the steady drumbeat of murders of and by young, African-American men.
“This is a national issue that deserves national conversation and national action,” said Mayor Nutter. “In America, young black men are being slaughtered and we need everyone on board to find solutions.”
In the speech, Mayors Nutter and Landrieu urged the federal government to redirect resources back to cities for the purpose of hiring new cops for community policing; creating common sense solutions on gun control; providing the tools necessary to make the prosecution of violent gun offenders a federal priority; and refocusing and mobilizing federal assets from the ATF, FBI, DEA, and US Marshalls to work shoulder to shoulder with local governments.
Together, Nutter and Landrieu are leading “Cities United,” an initiative to bring focus and attention to these important issues, together with the National League of Cities, Open Society Foundations, and Casey Family Programs. More than 50 cities are now involved with the initiative.
Mayors Nutter and Landrieu recently met with President Barack Obama and other mayors from across the country to discuss strategies to reduce youth violence and proven methods that have worked to combat violence on a local level.
In January, Mayor Nutter proposed the creation of the ‘National Commission on Domestic Terrorism, Violence and Crime in America’ which would examine the issues of violent crime and its prevention, and put forward recommendations that would detail what government at all levels can do to reduce the domestic terrorism, violence and crime, and prevent mass shootings which have occurred with increasing frequency over the last few years. The United States Conference of Mayors endorsed the proposal of the Commission; the full proposal can be found at: http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/2013/0128-document-NCDTVC.pdf.
City of Philadelphia and City of New Orleans officials also participated in the Justice Department’s National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence in Crystal City, Virginia today. Mayor Nutter presented the City of Philadelphia’s Strategic Plan to Prevent Youth Violence during the summit. The full Strategic Plan and the Mayor’s presentation can be found at: https://cityofphiladelphia.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/city-of-philadelphias-strategic-plan-to-prevent-youth-violence/
The remarks at the National Press Club “as prepared for delivery” are attached.
About Cities United: One of the greatest epidemics facing our country is the death of African American men and boys at the hand of other African American men and boys. Formed in 2011, Cities United is a diverse coalition of mayors working in partnership with aligned organizations dedicated to reducing violent deaths among Black men and boys. Cities United was established to bring mayors from across the country together with community leaders to create opportunities for Black men and boys to achieve their full potential and live long and productive lives. Currently, along with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, more than fifty mayors have joined the coalition.