OPINION: To Combat Gun Violence, Clean Up the Neighborhood

New York Times | PHILADELPHIA — Until a Black man turns 45, his most likely cause of death is homicide. After each such violent death, traumatic shock waves pierce through family and friends. Whole neighborhoods suffer. In some communities with high rates of violent crime, babies are more likely to be born early, children are more likely to struggle in school and adults are more likely to report being depressed, as well as face increased risk of heart disease.

A recent spike in violent crime in cities across the country has pushed the Biden administration to develop an important federal gun violence prevention strategy. Parents, leaders and activists in Black communities have been fighting against the terror of gun violence for decades. The country is finally catching up to their work.

Click here to read about it in the New York Times.


National Day of Service Food Drive a Huge Success!

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who joined the CAGV Community Food Drive we hosted as part of the National Day of Service. What a great way to recognize MLK Day! 

Economic instability, including food insecurity, creates conditions of despair that exacerbate gun violence, as we have seen during the pandemic in Connecticut and across the nation. The CAGV Community Food Drive was a small way to help alleviate the devastation that is disproportionately affecting low-income Americans and communities of color.  

Here’s what we heard from a few of the 300 participants: Francis contributed to FISH in Torrington, telling us, “Amidst the sad, distressing news of the day, it’s important to stay focused on what we all can do to help one another and to build more just, equitable, healthy and peaceful communities.” 

Kathy donated to Operation Hope of Fairfield, simply saying she wanted “to help others and to do something positive.” 

Michael donated to the Town of West Hartford food bank, saying he “Wanted to honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and give my grandchildren a chance to take part in community service.” 

Nancy, a teacher, made a food donation to Neighbor-to-Neighbor in Greenwich and contributed to our grocery gift card fund, writing, “The Day of Service in honor of MLK is a PERFECT opportunity to ‘Walk the Talk’ with my family and students.” 

Elizabeth donated to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, writing “I want Joe and Kamala to know I am happy to step up if they need me.” 

In addition to the food contributions so many of you made it to local food banks, we raised more than $3,000 to purchase grocery store gift cards that we’ll pass along to four organizations that do hands-on work to prevent gun violence, but during the pandemic have expanded the ways they help individuals and families in crisis. They are: Helping Young People Evolve in HartfordStreetSafe in Bridgeport, CT Violence Intervention Program in New Haven and the Association of Religious Communities in Danbury.  

‘It’s about accountability’: Many in Danbury area support Trump impeachment

News Times | The U.S. House of Representatives’ vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time was not shocking to some Danbury residents, but still warranted and an important statement to make in the wake of protests that turned violent at the Capitol last week.

The House voted 232-197 to impeach the president on a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the deadly events from Jan. 6. The vote included 10 Republicans joining Democrats.

“I think it’s important he be impeached …

To see the article, click here.