Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) concluded its virtual two-day summit on ‘Reimagining Public Safety.’ Held in partnership with Cities United and Everytown for Gun Safety, the gathering featured Mayors and local leaders in discussion about implementing solutions that can help make our cities safer and included several calls for Congress to take action on background check legislation.
“Every day, mayors across the country are facing challenges to public safety that demand urgent action. While Mayors can take meaningful steps to prevent gun violence and reimagine public safety in our own communities, to make real, sustainable progress, these must be national priorities,” said USCM President Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who presided over the two-day summit. “We need our federal and state partners to acknowledge what’s working at the local level, and what’s not, and help put forth scalable solutions to these public health crises.”
Over the course of six sessions, leaders discussed police reform, the factors behind gun violence, how to ensure a whole of city government approach to improving public safety, building capacity in cities for peaceful protests, and how federal funds can reduce and prevent gun violence.
“Gun violence is far too common in communities across the country, and it is past time for federal lawmakers to be part of the solution,” said Everytown for Gun Safety’s Director of Community Safety Initiatives Michael-Sean Spence. “Mayors and community leaders are working hard to prevent violence and reimagine public safety at the local level, and the Senate needs to do its part, too. The time is now to send bipartisan background checks and police reform legislation to President Biden’s desk.”
The importance of public sector and community collaboration was a major topic of discussion, as was the vital opportunity to redefine the role of police officers and first responders in communities.
“It is essential that we work together to build cities and communities that are more just, equitable and safe,” said Cities United’s Executive Director Anthony Smith. “We stand ready as thought partners to local leaders in reimagining public safety. This is work that can’t be done alone. We must focus, as a nation, on the root causes of gun violence and over policing if we are truly going to create real peace and safety in communities across the country.”
For more information and to view the sessions, please see this link.