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Mayor Turner Announces Members Of Commission Against Gun Violence

Law enforcement, religious leaders and the March for Our Lives movement are in the group and the Mayor expects initial recommendations before the next school year

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who this file photo shows during his 2018 State of the City address, has established a commission tasked with recommending measures that will improve gun safety in schools and communities.

Several local VIPs will serve on a commission Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has tasked with coming up with recommendations to improve gun safety in schools and communities through initiatives at the local, state and federal levels.

The Mayor’s Office detailed in a news release distributed on Wednesday that Houston Police Department (HPD) Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Fire Department (HFD) Samuel Peña; Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez; and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg will be members of the commission.

Houston’s religious community will also be represented in the commission with three well-known religious leaders serving as Honorary Chairs: Reverend William Lawson, founder and Pastor Emeritus of the Wheeler Baptist Church; Samuel Karff, Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel; and Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza, of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Local members of the student movement started after the Parkland mass shooting will also be in the commission. Marcel McClinton, a Houston high school student who is involved in the March for Our Lives initiative, is one of them.

Additionally, James Tucker, a Yates High School graduate who is a relative of a victim of gun violence, will also be in the commission.

Moreover, representatives of other prominent civic organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and United Way will serve on the commission.

Turner announced back in March his plans to establish the commission in solidarity with the March for Our Lives initiative, but he accelerated plans  on Wednesday, in the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting that happened last week, and that left 10 dead and 13 injured.  Turner advocated for all Texas’ school districts to use metal detectors in their campuses.

“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,” the Mayor said in the news release.

Turner 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.

 

Click here to read the complete list of members of the commission.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

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