The Activist Leo Politi Elementary School Recipient of WAGV Book Donation Program E very year, WAGV uses children’s books as centerpieces for our Annual Brunch. These One Child’s Perspective: books are donated by the generosity of Irwin Levin & Sanford Weiner. After the Brunch, these books are donated to a local elementary school where gun violence is I promise not to use guns and drugs and say bad a common occurrence in their neighborhood. This year’s recipient was Leo Politi Elementary School where WAGV board member, Sandy Savett is a words. I have a dream that volunteer tutor. The 2nd grade classes, taught by Inside This Issue: all the people would be equal. Don’t hate another person. Ms.Williams & Ms. Mendoza put together a moving program l Spotlight 2 I promise to not use guns for WAGV staff and board members, featuring posters, songs, and violence. I promise to poetry, and pledges (see left) from the students stating that l News 3 care like Dr. Martin Luther, they would never resort to gun violence. The day ended Jr. He showed courage. with Board President Ann Colburn reading one of the l Outreach 4 donated books to the school assembly. - Bryson, Age 7 l Advocacy 5 WAGV’s goal for this program is to offer inspiration and hope to children affected by gun violence and give them Pictured Above: l Thank You 6 an opportunity to have fun, be creative and to expand their Board President, Ann Colburn, saying a few imagination. We are committed not only to the prevention words at the end of the children’s presentation. l Letters 7 of gun violence, but also improving the future of children. Women Against Gun Violence Newsletter Fall 2007 P.O. Box 1501 Culver City, CA 90232-1501 w T: (310) 204-2348 w F: (310) 204-6643 www.wagv.org w email@example.com Page 2 WAGV Intern New Board Member Chief Sharon Papa Spotlight H S ello, my name haron K. Papa joined the Los Angeles Women’s Leadership Council. Chief Papa’s honors is Cynthia Reza Police Department (LAPD) in 1997 when and awards include being selected as the 2004 and I am a the Metropolitan Transportation Woman of the Year Award by the Century City WAGV Student Authority (MTA) Police Department merged Chamber of Commerce and she is a recipient of Intern. I first learned with the LAPD. Chief Papa served with the MTA the 2006 Italian American Achievement Award about the organization in high school Police Department for almost 17 years holding presented by the La Piazza Cultural Center. when I was invited to attend WAGV’s Annual Courageous Leadership Awards the position of Chief of Police from 1990 until As a forward thinking manager, Chief Papa Brunch. After attending the brunch and the merger in 1997. Chief Papa’s leadership, appreciates the importance of establishing and learning more about the organization, I direction and vision contributed significantly to maintaining a liaison between the LAPD and wanted to get involved. Last summer I the successful merger of the MTA Police community groups dedicated raising public was able to intern with the organization. Department and the LAPD. awareness on important civic issues. She is a Though I haven’t personally been affected frequent speaker at universities, conferences On February 23, 2003, Chief Papa made City by gun violence, helping people who have and community forums. Chief Papa is devoted history when she was sworn in as the first and informing families how to be safe and to mentoring aspiring executives and sharing woman promoted to the rank of Assistant avoid gun violence was really rewarding. her experience with the community. Chief for the LAPD. Holding the position of This summer I am helping the organization Director, Office of Support Services (OSS) she The cause which Women Against Gun Violence develop a product for youth on topics of reports directly to the Chief of Police and is is dedicated to is of major importance to law gun violence and its relation to other forms responsible for managing the following entities: enforcement. Gun violence tears at the very of violence. I have conducted research Administrative and Technical Services Bureau, fabric of society and threatens those dedicated about different violence topics such Training Group, Behavioral Science Services, to protecting our communities. Although the as bullying, gang violence, retaliations, Information and Communications Services City of Los Angeles has witnessed a steadily relationship violence and suicide. Bureau, OMBUDS Office, Planning and Research declining crime rate, in 2006 the Department Division and the Transit Liaison Unit. recorded 12 incidents of assaults with a firearm I was amazed by the research I have read Chief Papa is an active member and past against LAPD officers. Unfortunately, this year online and in books. It is unbelievable to President of the Peace Offices Association of the number of assaults has increased 17%. By see that 60% of high school boys and 31% Los Angeles County. She is also a member bringing this issue to the forefront, the public of middle school boys said they could of the International Association of Chiefs of at large can help stem the tide of gun violence. get a gun if they wanted to in the U.S. Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, the Chief Papa encourages the members of To see that as many as 160,000 students Organization for Women Executives and the Women Against Gun Violence to continue their stay home on any given day because outstanding work. they’re afraid of being bullied is shocking. Information like this encourages me to work on this project so that students who Supporter Mike Roos M are being bullied or harassed by gangs ike Roos joined the WAGV Board of At one of WAGV’s early Education for Action can learn smart ways to deal with some of Advisors soon after the luncheons, Mike regaled the participants the situations they encounter. organization began. He brings to with hair-raising tales of seeking votes for the Board a passionate commitment to the passage of the bill. He told of stalking a I have great hope for this project. It can issue, and also a modicum of fame in gun hold-out legislator in her district by mobilizing help many young people who, at times, are regulation circles. He is one of the authors of her constituents to carry signs challenging confused and may not know how to deal the eponymous Roberti-Roos Weapons her wherever she went. In the end, the vote with tough situations. I hope this project Control Act of 1989—landmark legislation was breathlessly close, but the good guys will help guide them to make positive banning assault weapons. prevailed. The assault weapon ban became a decisions to resolve their problems. model for the nation. www.wagv.org w firstname.lastname@example.org News Page 3 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair - Ann Reiss Lane President - Ann Colburn ViCe President - Sheila Goldberg SeCretary - Rita Hoisch Treasurer -Shirley Bailey Sheri Barnett Frieda Rapoport Caplan Lois Gunther Katherine Hennigan Nicole Kline, Esq. WAGV Puts on Another Successful Brunch Event Nadine LeBlanc O Glenda Meraz n May 20, over 300 people joined Antonio Villaraigosa, who was visibly moved Eileen O’Connell WAGV at the Luxe Hotel for the after speaking to some of the survivors. Judith Palarz Annual Courageous Leadership Chief Sharon Papa There were also six “From My Perspective” Sandy Savett Award Brunch to celebrate the progress presentations from members of the WAGV Roberta G. Schiller, MSPH made on gun violence and to educate people Bettye Sweet on our the latest legislative efforts. This was Speakers Bureau. Five youth and one mother Carolann Taylor one of the most profitable events in WAGV told their personal stories of gun violence and BOARD OF ADVISORS history, raising over $122,000. how they were able to persevere from their devastating situations. Eddie Flores, Cynthia Sheriff Lee Baca Bishop Charles E. Blake Our honorees were West Hollywood City Reza and Luis Rivera gave their perspective Chief William J. Bratton Councilmember, Abbe Land a pioneer in living in low income communities and talked Mark Chekal-Bain sponsoring gun legislation, Sayre Weaver, about how they dealt with peer pressure, Bill D’Elia Esq. the attorney who won a landmark drugs and gangs. Christian Heyne talked Judge George M. Dell Hon. Michael Feuer case for local gun laws, and Wells Fargo about growing up in an affluent community Rabbi Laura Geller represented by Carmel Sella honored for and realizing that violence affects all Jackie Gottlieb their commitment to the community. They communities. Alec Foster described a first Sandy Gooch all spoke to why they are strong supporters hand experience of gun violence at the Dr. Peter Greenwood Hon. James K. Hahn of ending gun violence and the importance young age of two years old. Finally, Bettye Sweet Alice Harris to STOP GUN VIOLENCE, the theme of this Sweet gave the unique perspective as a Daniel Hinerfeld Counter Clockwise from top: year’s event. parent seeking unanswerable questions. Marilyn Hudson WAGV Chair Ann Reiss Maxene Johnston Lane with Los Angeles area Hon. Paul Krekorian, Esq. elected officials, Mike Feuer, The event program included inspiring Thanks to everyone who supports our speeches from Los Angeles City Council Hon. Abbe Land Mark Ridley-Thomas, Eric valuable work here at WAGV. The monies Eleanor Montaño Garcetti, Avis Ridley- President, Eric Garcetti, Assistant Majority raised will help fund our community and Thomas and Abbe Land; Luis Montes, MD Leader Kevin De Leon, who presented his legislative work. We hope that you will join Hon. Bernard C. Parks Honoree Abbe Land with Presenter Zev Yaroslavsky bill, “The Safe Neighborhoods Handgun us at next year’s event. Bobbie Parks Honoree Sayre Weaver with Ammunition Regulation & Control Felicia Parks-Mena Presenter Josh Horowitz; Charlie K. Parsons Act” (AB 362), and Los Angeles Mayor Honoree Carmel Sella with Hon. Joy Picus Presenter Bernard Parks; Dr. George Regas Ray Reisler and a WAGV Nancy Morgan Ritter guest look at confiscated guns; Hon. Mike Roos WAGV staff with Antonio Jan Ross Villaraigosa and WAGV Carmel Sella Board Member Eileen Amanda Susskind, Esq. O’Connell; the “From My Perspective” Speakers with SPECIAL COUNSEL Marisela Romero. Sayre Weaver, Esq. Richards, Watson & Gershon www.wagv.org w email@example.com Page 4 Majestic Realty Youth Leadership Council - Inspiring Youth to Take Action Outreach S tudents living in Los Angeles are no and the ease of obtaining a gun. Majestic Realty Foundation Coordinator, strangers to the impact of gun Meghan Loper, reported that “students Students also participated in a “Stepping were genuinely moved by the victims who violence. This was the overwhelming Into My Shoes” activity where students spoke and shared original poetry about response from the Majestic Realty Youth read a first-person account of a gun-related their experiences. But it was seeing the Leadership Council Meeting where Women experience. Later groups of students found young men in wheelchairs, and hearing Against Gun Violence hosted an evening of out that these were incidents from other from a mother and a grandmother who activities and discussions on the topic of WAGV group leaders involved in the day’s had lost their loved ones that really brought gun violence and community safety. WAGV events. Students brainstormed ways that home the lasting impacts of gun violence.” speakers Eddie Flores, Tarik Hawkins, they could help stop gun violence in their Students left the activity motivated to take Sheri Barnett, Nadine LeBlanc, homes and schools. Some of the solutions an active role in their communities to stop Dexter McDaniel and WAGV Program proposed by the students included gun violence. Both students and survivors Director Marisela Romero, talked about increasing education for students and felt inspired to help others prevent their personal losses to gun violence and families about the dangers of guns; holding violence. students discussed their encounters with candlelight vigils; joining or creating gun-related incidents. Students described stories about the shootings in their neighborhood watch groups; and writing WAGV Speakers neighborhoods, their gun toting friends to elected officials. have reached 1053 Youth so far this year. Over 50 students broke into small group discussions with WAGV speakers. WAGV speaker Tarik Hawkins Have Something To Say? speaks to a group of youth about his Come Join the WAGV experience with gun violence. Program Director, Marisela Romero listens to Speakers Bureau students tell their personal stories. H ave you ever considered giving back to the community This year Women Against Gun Violence will be hosting a Public and voicing your frustration about the levels of gun Speaking Training at the Center For Healthier Communities on violence in Los Angeles? Come take a stand and learn September 21. This half day training will be open to the public about the Women Against Gun Violence Speakers and community partners. Participants will learn how to read their Bureau. Be a part of the solution to gun violence. Learn how to audience, organize a speech, decrease their levels of anxiety and express yourself on an issue that is devastating the lives of families use verbal and non-verbal communication. Using interactive on a daily basis. Learn how to educate audiences on ways to activities, participants will learn skills and techniques that can be prevent gun violence in their home, schools and communities. applied to their involvement in the Speakers Bureau as well as Make a difference and join us as we work to prevent gun violence in their own personal lives. Make a difference and come join the through education, advocacy and community mobilization. fun. For more information, please contact Marisela Romero at the WAGV office. www.wagv.org w firstname.lastname@example.org Advocacy Page 5 Education For Action O n February 7, 2008 WAGV will be In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting that systems be efficient and comprehensive hosting an Education for Action tragedy determining when and how a person to ensure public safety. conference on prohibitions to becomes prohibited from owning a firearm firearm ownership with a focus on mental due to mental health or other triggers has If you or your organization would like more health. The areas addressed during the become a priority. California laws, and the information on the conference please contact conference will be the triggering events that thorough background check conducted by Devin Cotter at the WAGV office. As the cause a person to become prohibited, the the California Department of Justice would conference approaches more information, reporting of prohibitions and the training and have prevented the Virginia-Tech shooter as well as tickets will be available at public information available about firearm from legally purchasing a gun. Even with www.wagv.org. prohibition. these effective regulations in place, it is vital Local Leaders C ouncilmembers Abbe Land and about the dangers of guns in the home. These Bernard Parks, from West Hollywood and ordinances underscore the importance of Los Angeles, have successfully passed educating prospective and current gun owners ordinances that mandate warning signs in gun shops. The sign states that a gun in the on these issues. WARNING There are mandated warnings for cigarettes and The City of West Hollywood has home actually endangers the occupants. For too alcohol to ensure consumers make an informed found that keeping a gun in the long people have accepted the myth that a gun choice about a product that can kill. Firearms home increases the danger to can and should be kept for protection. however, have no warnings. WAGV will be family members. Women Against Gun Violence is making this advocating for these warning signs as another issue our top priority for local action. A key step in our campaign to educate gun owners. part of WAGV’s mission is to educate the public Ammunition Regulation NOW! G uns need bullets to kill, a permit for buyers. Today, many crime reducing benefits. and it is the bullet that without a sellers license, the A background check would be delivers the death and only way for law enforcement to required to ensure that buyers destruction of gun violence. know who is selling ammunition are not felons or other prohibited However, unlike firearms, there would be going door to door persons, and the recording of are few regulations of the sale of and asking. No one can even buyer and sale information ammunition. A recent RAND accurately estimate the amount would be a powerful tool for study stated that this was like of ammunition sold in the state. law enforcement. The permit including Assemblymember regulating needles but not Furthermore, there are currently would also affect illegal sales De León and Senator Jack Scott regulating drugs. more regulations on the sale by increasing the street price in passing this legislation. Like of spray paint than handgun of ammunition. As seen with Assistant Majority Leader many of the important fights in ammunition. With 8 kids dying cigarettes, an increase in the price Kevin de León (right) identified WAGV’s history, the “junk gun” a day from gun violence it is would discourage use by minors the two components needed for and assault weapons bans, this imperative that our legislators or others who would have to buy effective ammunition regulation will not be easy or quick but it has take action. ammunition from a trafficker. in his groundbreaking bill, AB the great potential of reducing 362. A license for sellers and The buyers permit would have WAGV is proud to join leaders crime and saving lives. www.wagv.org w email@example.com Page 6 Thank You Reverend Jesse Jackson and WAGV Honored R everend Jackson was the keynote has been working together for over ten years Accepting speaker at the Legal Community to make California safer through sensible gun the award Against Violence (LCAV) Anniversary regulations. on behalf of dinner on June 28th. Jackson, founder and WAGV were president of Rainbow Push Coalition, an WAGV has had the pleasure of working F o u n d e r organization fighting for social change, has with LCAV for many years on state and local and Chair recently protested against gun violence firearm regulations. LCAV provides the legal Ann Reiss Lane, Executive Director outside suburban gun stores. On August viewpoint in addressing gun violence and Christine F. Robinson and Advocacy Program 28, he will hold a national day of protest toprovides pro-bono defense to cities that Manager Devin Cotter. WAGV would like focus the nation’s attention on the problem have introduced firearm regulations and are to thank LCAV for their continued efforts of illegal gun trafficking. sued by the NRA or similar groups. This legal to prevent gun violence and the honor to support has made it possible for cities to take participate in their wonderful event. Women Against Gun Violence was honored at a stand on gun violence while facing legal Above: the event as a member of the California Gun threats from opposition groups. Ann Reiss Lane and Reverend Jesse Jackson discuss violence Violence Prevention Coalition. The coalition prevention efforts at the LCAV dinner. We would like to thank the donors who made our 2007 Silent Auction possible. A Noise Within Dr. Gordon Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito, See’s Candy Anna Del Rio Dr. Phil Show Baja California Norte, Mexico Senator Dianne Feinstein Antigua Sportswear Edwin Prober Laura and Jim Maslon Sheila Goldberg Antoinette Portis Elizabeth Forsythe-Hailey Lois Neiter Fine Arts Sherman Oaks Castle Park Architecture Tours of LA Engine Co. No. 28 Los Angeles Clippers Sierra’s Restaurant Armstrong Garden Centers Equinox Fitness Los Angeles County Museum of Arts Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Barry Glassner Festival of Arts Los Angeles Dodgers Six Flags Magic Mountain Benihana Fleming Entertainment Centers, Inc. Los Angeles Lakers Skirball Cultural Center Bettye Sweet Ford Theatre Foundation Los Angeles Police Department Sunset Books Bill D’Elia- David Kelley Productions Frederick’s of Hollywood Macy’s West The Children’s Discovery Museum of Binx Carter Frieda Caplan Mélisse Restaurant the Desert Bob Baker Marionette Theater Gerald Prolman Metropolitan Theatre Corporation The Chocolate Moose Boca Raton Resort and Club Gil Garcetti Mimis Café The Colony Theatre Company Brass.~Cap. Groundlings Theater Miracle Springs Resort and Spa The Comedy & Magic Club Broadway Deli H&M Landing Monarchs Gymnastics The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Brooke Sundstrom Haas & Co. Hair Design Mountain Gate Country Club The Ice House Comedy Nightclub and Build A Bear Workshop Harper’s Bar and Grill Museum of Tolerance Restaurant Café 50’s High School Musical Neutrogena Corporation The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Callaway Vineyard & Winery House of Blues, Orange County Noma Restaurant Department Cambria Winery In-and-Out Off the Wall Catering The Luxe Hotel Bel Air Carol Doumani James R. Lane Original Tommy’s World Famous The Ocean Institute Cerritos Center Japanese American National Museum Hamburgers The Warehouse Restaurant Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom John Cassese “The Dance Doctor” Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier Toscana Christine’s Color Concept Joseph Martin Salon Peachy and Mark Levy UCLA Bruins Colm and Brian Byrne Judy Zeidler Peet’s Coffee and Tea UCLA Hammer Museum Colm Byrne Juicy Couture Phoebe Beasley Art Studio Universal Studios Hollywood Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez June Travolta Playa Vista University of Southern California Darylle B K9s Only REPRISE! Broadway’s Best Up and Away Jackets DC Golf Karen Huner Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Vicente Foods del Mano Gallery Katie Gates Rob Zeiger Weathervane For Men Destinations of Excellence Kings Seafood Co. Rockreation Westfeild Disney Worldwide Outreach La Coupe Lintermans Ron Barnett Whoop, Inc. Dolce Enoteca La Cuesta Inn Ruth Rosen Yummy Yoga Doug and Jackie Wiggins La Fondue Bourguignonne San Diego Aerospace Museum Yves Bistro www.wagv.org w firstname.lastname@example.org Letters Page 7 A Letter from Ann Colburn, Board President Julio Alcantar, a June 2007 graduate of Finally my sister unlocked the door. I went At that instant I knew that something went Manual Arts High School Academy of inside . . . and saw my brother and little horribly wrong. I ran down the street . . . The Finance, wrote this essay for his college nephews on the floor crawling to the back horrific scene caused my sister to pass out. application. His experience of losing a friend room. Then I heard my mother . . . screaming In a pool of blood, my best friend, Semaj, lay to guns and gangs at the age of 12 turned hysterically, “HELP!!! HELP!!! HELP!!!! ” I robbed of his friends, his family, and his life. him from a potential gang member and didn’t know why she was screaming, but school dropout into a determined young my blood turned cold as my fear for the Semaj was on his way to buy food for his man who wants to be part of the solution. worst enhanced. Fortunately she was only grandmother. He was hit by the gunfire Julio will enter the University of California, pleading with the 911 Operator. because he had nowhere to run. Hundreds San Diego, this Fall to study criminal justice. of people watched Semaj lie there and die We wish him well. I assured her that I was okay, but in all . . . honesty, I wasn’t really sure. My adrenaline It was around 4:30 p.m., March 16, 2001; was so high that I didn’t know if I was Things like this happen to people in my I was watering the grass. A couple of hurt or not. I crept back to the door and neighborhood everyday. It has caused me houses down were approximately 30 gang the assailants continued firing. It was as to want to change my area. It is why I . . . members. I knew it was trouble waiting to if they were on a mission and had endless [will] attend college so that I may one day happen . . . [Then] I saw the first sparks from ammunition. The shooting finally ended. affect my neighborhood in a positive way. the gun go off. It hurts to see young kids live this way; it’s When the streets silenced, I went outside why I want to pursue criminal law and bring My life flashed before my eyes, and I asked and heard my close friend, Avery, hysterically justice to where it is needed most. myself, “Is this it? Is this how it’s meant to screaming and hitting the floor . . . screaming end for me?” . . . Shot after shot after shot, “Semaj!! Semaj! Semaj! Why? Why?” me not knowing what to expect or what was going to happen. Executive Director, Christine F. Robinson, JD W hen I first began my work here, my first task was to WAGV has gone into the community to ask youth agencies to attend some of our speaking engagements. My first participate in the development of a youth booklet. This booklet one was at A Place Called Home, where survivors spoke will demonstrate gun violence and its relationship to other to after-school elementary students. When the question was asked forms of violence. It will also discuss the possible legal and moral by one of the speakers,“Who knows someone who had been either consequences of such activities. Youth from agencies such as shot or killed by a gun?” Of the 75 students, only 5 kids did not raise A Place Called Home and Homeboy Industries are involved in their hands. I was shocked and horrified that for some kids, violence creating artwork and poetry that will be featured in the booklet. is just as normal as catching a cold. It is very disheartening. Presently, youth are meeting with WAGV Program Director Marisela Romero and Summer Intern Cynthia Reza to brainstorm and give I wanted to tell each of them that this is not normal behavior and input to these issues. WAGV is confident there was something they could do to make a difference. Then my that involving Los Angeles youth in staff and I came up with an idea. We wanted to educate our youth, the design of the booklet is a sure way and at the same time give our youth a voice about the violence that to increase the popularity and success occurs in their neighborhoods. Youth are rarely given opportunities of this project. This booklet may not to give their input to solutions or alternatives to problems. However, end the violence that occurs in their topics such as violence, bullying, gangs and suicide are issues that neighborhoods, but it will educate and today’s youth are very familiar with. We recognize the key role teach children about their options and youth play in identifying, participating and preventing violence. making responsible choices. www.wagv.org w email@example.com It is easier to purchase handgun ammunition than a can of spray paint. in the time it takes to paint a room, 8 children will be killed by a gun. Nonprofit Postage Paid Sundance Press The Activist Vol 14 No. 2 P.O. Box 1501 Culver City, CA 90232-1501 P: 310-204-2348 F: 310-204-6643 www.wagv.org Preventing Gun Violence through Education, Advocacy & Community Mobilization.
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