By Nyesha Stone
Everyday people die. And everyday someone dies due to gun violence. The list of victims who died because of gun violence is endless. Milwaukeeans know all too well what it means to lose someone from gun violence.
Not only do we see the stories on the news but we’re living it on a day-to-day basis. It’s a reality we’ve normalized, which is why US Senator Cory Booker has been on a two-week “Justice for All Tour” to address social injustice issues, which include gun violence.
Booker—who is a Democratic presidential contender—said gun violence is “deeply personal” to him. He currently lives in a neighborhood where the median income is $14,000, and parents work three jobs just make ends meet. Booker said he sees the everyday struggles of our communities. He knows how those factors can lead to increased gun violence.
“This is an issue we have to talk about in all of its manifestation,” Booker said about gun violence. “I feel a sense of urgency… I’m going to bring a fight to this issue.”
If elected president, gun violence will be a top priority for Booker.
Earlier this week, Booker’s tour stopped in Milwaukee at Coffee Makes You Black to speak with the community about his commitment and personal experience with this issue. Alongside him were advocates and individuals who connected to gun violence in some way.
Milwaukee Youth Council President Bria Smith was on the panel with Booker.
“I’ve always heard gun shots,” said Smith. “That’s the culture of Milwaukee…we’re the society of normalizing injustices.”
She said it’s more than just reforming policies, but also mindsets. Smith questioned how can we make that possible, along with getting more young people—like herself—to get more involved.
As she wore her Nipsey Hussle button, she stood up and spoke for everyone who wasn’t there or brave enough to speak for themselves.
“Young people are screaming to be heard,” said Smith and it’s time for the adults to step up.