Yesterday, hundreds of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, as well as survivors of gun violence, were joined by more than 40 gun safety groups and community organizations for the first-ever Moms Demand Action Virtual Advocacy Day. The virtual day of action was held in lieu of the chapter’s annual Advocacy Day at the State Capitol to urge Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature to increase funding for the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program to $39 million — up from $9 million proposed in the governor’s budget this year.
In response to growing health concerns around COVID-19, and in an effort to honor the dedication of nearly 800 volunteers, including 110 survivors of gun violence who had RSVP’d to the in-person event, the chapter held a Virtual Advocacy Day. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, gun safety advocates, and gun violence survivors held 16 virtual meetings with California lawmakers or their staff and uploaded countless videos and posts on social media to support #CalVIP funding throughout the day.
There are nearly 14,000 gun homicides in the U.S. every year. In 2015, over a quarter of these gun homicides occurred in neighborhoods containing less than 2 percent of the country’s population. And while California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, there’s still an average of more than 3,000 gun deaths in the state every year. CalVIP supports community-based violence intervention programs that apply a localized approach to address gun violence in California’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. Programs supported by violence intervention funding apply a public health model to ending gun violence, keeping Californian communities safe.
Here are some photos from the California chapter’s Advocacy day:
More information about violence intervention and prevention funding available here. Statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and information on how California’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with volunteers with California Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action or survivors of gun violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out.