by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
A mother and Your Black World Coalition member, Tamika Mallory, has written an open letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, arguing that the mayor has been disappointing in his response to gun violence in the city. Black and brown children are regular victims of gun violence, and many of these crimes occur because authorities are not willing to make the political sacrifice necessary to stop the flow of guns into our communities.
Tamika also happens to be the National Executive Director of the National Action Network. I applaud her letter to the governor. At least 48 people were shot in the New York City area during Labor Day Weekend alone, many of them being people of color. I hope that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing all he can to stop the problem….after all, this occurred in his own back yard.
The letter is below:
September 7, 2011
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
When my son was two years old his father was killed as a result of gun violence and before that time and after, I watched people in my community be terrorized by the everyday possibility that someone they know might not come home because they were shot and killed.
I have watched as you have done powerful things for so many New Yorkers as Governor. You have used your power in Albany to pass same sex marriage when others who tried before you failed. Just this past weekend you organized a successful "labor for your neighbor" program in Upstate New York to help those families ravaged by Hurricane Irene.
I guess it is because you have been so successful everywhere else that I have been so deeply disappointed at your failed leadership to date and silence on the issue of gun violence in urban New York. While you roll up your sleeves to help Upstate neighbors repair the damage to their communities over Labor Day weekend, you did nothing and said nothing while 48 people (some reports say nearly 100 people) were shot in New York City and three people were killed over that same time period.
African Americans and Latinos know you can do something here because you have done it in other areas with great success. I am requesting that you meet with grassroots, local and community leaders immediately to present your plan to remedy what many are referring to as terrorism within communities of color. I personally urge you to be a leader on this issue since you have been so alarmingly silent up to now.
Yours in Progress,
Tamika D. Mallory
National Executive Director
National Action Network