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|