Mayor Turner Announces Commission Against Gun Violence Members

HOUSTON -  Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced the names of 37 individuals who represent a cross-section of the Houston community to serve on his new Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence. The diverse group includes students, parents, physicians, law enforcement officials, gun-rights advocates, gun violence victims and members of faith-based and civil rights organizations.

The commission’s charge is to develop and propose specific recommendations to improve gun safety in our schools, neighborhoods and communities through action on the local, state and federal levels.

In March, the mayor announced plans to establish the Commission Against Gun Violence in solidarity with the national student-led movement March for Our Lives. He made the announcement at a downtown Houston rally and march that drew thousands of people.

The mayor, who has a lengthy legislative record advocating for schools and for responsible gun use, is inspired by young people who have organized to educate elected officials and the public about the need to improve school safety and effectively address gun violence issues on school campuses.

“I’m not interested in engaging in a political battle or fight against any organization,” Mayor Turner said. “But I am interested in coming up with ideas that can make society safer for our children, irrespective of where they come from, their religious beliefs or languages they speak, because the shooters have demonstrated they do not respect human life.”

Shortly after a Santa Fe High School student was charged with killing eight classmates and two teachers, Mayor Turner encouraged school districts to consider measures that would make schools as safe as government buildings.  

“You can’t walk into city hall without going through metal detectors and our children deserve the same protection in their schools,” the mayor said.

Mayor Turner will give the commission the time and resources it needs to research and submit recommendations. However, he has asked the commission to provide some recommendations before the next school year starts in the fall and the rest before the start of the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature.

The following people have been appointed to serve on the Commission Against Gun Violence.

Rev. William Lawson Honorary Chair Founder & Pastor Emeritus, Wheeler Baptist Church
Rabbi Samuel Karff Honorary Chair Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel
Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Honorary Chair Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Kendra Willis 2017 Ms. Wheelchair Texas, gun violence survivor
James Tucker Yates High School Graduate/ Family member of gun violence victim
Sam Peña Houston Fire Chief
Dr. David Persse Chief Medical Officer
Victor Gonzalez Mayor's Anti-Gang Office
Art Acevedo Houston Police Chief
Ed Gonzalez Harris County Sheriff
Kim Ogg Harris County District Attorney
Paul Cordova Interim Police Chief, Houston Independent School District
Vera Bumpers Metro Police Chief
Marcel McClinton March for Our Lives High School Student
Wasiq Javed March for Our Lives University of Houston Student
Madeline Lake March for Our Lives High School Student
Ariel Hobbs March for Our Lives University of Houston Student
Alina Dong Chair, Mayor's Youth Council
Andrew Yoo Law School Student
Ping Sun Rice University and Attorney
Aimee Mobley Turney Houston Area Group Lead, Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America & Gun Safety Chair of League of Women Voters of Texas
Tiffany Ross Director of Education and Outreach, Mental Health America and Mayor's LQBTQ Advisory Board
Sonia Corrales CEO, Houston Area Women's Center
Judson Robinson, III President, Houston Area Urban League
Mary Ramos Executive Committee, LULAC
Yolanda Smith Executive Director, NAACP
Haley Carter Captain, United States Marine Corps, Houston Dash 2014-2016
Cornelius Blackshear Director of Veteran's Services, United Way
Dr. Bindi Naik-Mathuria Attending Surgeon, Trauma Medical Director, Texas Children's Hospital & Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Jerry Ashworth CEO, TIRR Memorial Herman
Dr. Peter Stout CEO, Houston Forensic Science Center
Johnny Mata Coalition for Justice, LULAC
Abbie Kamin Associate Regional Director, Southwest Region,  Anti-Defamation League
Dr. Robert Muhammad Founder, Action CDC
Dan Snare President, American Leadership Forum
Sheryl Ropollo Owner, Wagon Wheel Ranch
Deric Muhammad Activist/Author