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Forum on ending gun violence goes virtual this week

Roc Against Violence Coalition/Facebook

A Rochester City Council leader is hoping a lot of people take part in a virtual town hall this week to combat gun violence.

Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the forum scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, will be held online.  But he is still hoping a lot of people take part in that session and submit questions and comments.

Lightfoot chairs the ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition, and he said he wants to hear not only from city residents, but from people all over the region.

“We’re really asking this community to help us solve this problem; we need solutions that we can try to implement so that we can stop people from pulling the trigger and we can stop these families from hurting,” Lightfoot said.

There were three homicides in the city during one day last week, but Lightfoot noted that this week’s forum was set up before the recent spate of violence. He stresses that this has to be an ongoing effort and Wednesday’s forum will include not only local government officials, but people involved with groups looking for innovative ways of dealing with gun violence.

Lightfoot, who also heads up Council’s Public Safety Committee, talked about the recent demonstrations related to police brutality nationwide. He believes that Rochester officials have been proactive in addressing that issue, and he also would like to see the same kind of outrage targeted at people who commit violent crime in the city.

He noted that recent victims of that crime also involve people of color.

“Some of these individuals are Black and brown individuals. And I just would like to see the same energy around us combatting these deaths as we see energy around policing,” Lightfoot said.

The forum on Wednesday starts at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

To participate in the meeting, go toZoom.usand follow the prompts to join a meeting. Meeting ID: 942 9678 6048; Password: 515689.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.