A large crowd gathered in Pittsburgh City Council chamber today for a public hearing on gun violence.
Council heard testimony from relatives and friends of gun violence victims, from shootings 27 years ago or just last year.
Many of the speakers asked Council to support more youth centers and mentoring programs that would keep the city’s young people away from bad influences. More gun control was also proposed.
Valerie Dixon, whose son Rob was shot and killed 10 years ago, says she also attended the funeral of three Pittsburgh Police officers shot and killed in April of 2009.
“I cried like it was my son’s funeral. It hurt just as much as my son’s funeral to see the deaths of those three officers. But until you care about our kids like you care about those three officers, nothing will be done in this city,” says Dixon.
Kirk Holbrook of Homewood says while commercial developments like the East Liberty Target are meant to create jobs, that approach isn’t working to keep kids off the streets. He says the city should focus on community centers in poor neighborhoods instead.
Councilman Ricky Burgess requested that April 26 be named “A Day of Remembrance” of gun violence victims.