“Our community is on fire. We are never giving up.”
These words from keynote speaker Mayor Quinton Lucas matched the audience’s calls for justice and safety at an anti-violence town hall last week.
Community members packed a room in the Southeast Community Center, advocating for youth, families, and their community in an event organized by Keeping Communities on Guard (KCOG).
It was clear in the anti-violence meeting that actions needed to be taken by everyone in as many forms as possible, from youth support to public votes for policy change. Lucas stood for jail reform, mindful ordinances of firearms and mentoring programs.
Lucas said he supports the passing of an ordinance that provides counseling for youth found in possession of firearms, as well as rehabilitative efforts that educate them on the consequences of their current actions and help them follow a different route.
Lucas also discussed an ordinance that, if passed, would require mandatory reporting on missing firearms and ticket citizens a maximum of $500 after a certain period of time if no report is filed. This ordinance would work to control the traffic of firearms, which are stolen and resold.
“Why am I standing in front of you today? Because I had a bunch of people telling me I can be somebody,” said Lucas. “Be that person to the youth. Have everybody get involved.”
Lucas wants to ensure all members of the community know that their lives are valuable. Lucas asked the community not to throw anybody away, but to help them get involved.
Lucas said he had a whole village that helped raise him as a child, and that it’s worth it for our community to stand by this mentality.
The audience, comprised of mostly adults, spoke for the youth, in fear of their safety as they become young men and women.
Lucas said the idea of “I can, and I will because I’ve been taught,” is necessary to a child’s mindset, so they can conquer conflict resolution and make rational decisions.
If a young mind is not taught to resolve anger as they turn into an adult, this behavior may turn into life sentences.
Lucas demanded the public focus its attention on public safety within policy. Lucas said the public should always ask themselves, “How does this make our community safer?”
“If the governor comes into town and talks about the Chiefs or something, make sure you tell him that’s all well and good. I like them too,” said Lucas. “But what are you doing to make our community safer?”
KCOG President Lamar Vickers made the night’s closing remarks. The organization’s vision is a model for the rest of the community that proves the power people can have when they come together and work as one voice.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/kcogss or email KCOGs816@gmail.com