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August 9, 2019

Pressley Op-Ed: Waging peace, healing our nation

WASHINGTON – In an op-ed published today in The Bay State Banner, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) reaffirmed the need for community-based violence-prevention and trauma-support programs to heal the nation from the incessant gun violence tragedies, especially for communities like the Massachusetts 7th which is disproportionately impacted by violence.

In the piece, Congresswoman Pressley calls for survivor-led, victim-centered and offender-sensitive resources to treat the trauma that is inflicted on communities as a result of gun violence and address the underlying structures that perpetuate gun tragedies. The Congresswoman also condemns President Trump for his role in encouraging terrorism:

“The occupant of the White House is a dangerous, racist, hateful demagogue who intentionally dehumanizes black and brown communities and encourages terrorism,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “From xenophobia, islamophobia and anti-Semitism — the Trump Administration eagerly demonizes activists, religious groups and groups with differing political ideologies. Our society has become all too ready to shame, slander and surveil Latinx and Muslims all the while ignoring white supremacist terrorism.”

Congresswoman Pressley is a long-time champion for gun violence prevention.  She currently serves as a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and she helped pass  H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act – two long-overdue, bipartisan gun violence prevention bills. In June, she  introduced a resolution to honor survivors of homicide victims by establishing National Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month – a first step towards promoting awareness on the intergenerational, traumatic, and lasting impacts of gun violence on families and communities. In July, Congresswoman Pressley, alongside Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA-04), introduced the Making America Safe and Secure (MASS) Act – legislation that would incentivize states to adopt gun-licensing standards similar to those in Massachusetts, and make it harder for young people, people with mental health illness, and those with a criminal history to purchase or sell a gun. While serving as a Councilwoman on the Boston City Council, she hosted listening sessions on violence and trauma, giving survivors the space to be heard by government officials and the community.


Read the article online here.




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