Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson brings the community together to speak out against violence, promote healing and support at a Los Angeles institution.
Just 72 hours after a devastating event at a revered Los Angeles institution, District Eight council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson brought the community together in an impressive show of solidarity.
“We’re going to do everything to stem the tide of gun violence, whether it’s happening here, at the park, or at this community institution,” Harris-Dawson said over the buzz of a packed restaurant. “We had a really bad shot…and we want to take this opportunity to say that Roscoe is ours, and we’re going to show up to support him.” Applause and shouts of affirmation punctuated the air.
Sister Herron, a member of the Southern California Cease Fire and Watts Gang Task Force, added to the council members’ sentiments, saying, “This restaurant has name value…we bring our kids here, it’s a family place. We also have ex-offenders who were able to return to life because they were given a second chance, so Roscoe has name value. They are very important. She went on to say, “We are devastated that this young man was killed in such a cruel way. There is no way to express this without being angry. And for us, it is a theft from his children; how are they supposed to survive without a source of income?
“We’re offended because he was killed for jewelry…seriously?” Our greatest desire is that his killers be arrested.
Community safety is a top priority in the district. Harris-Dawson and her team have been successful in reducing violence in the community through their Community Safety Partnership program. This weekend they will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its creation at Harvard Park. The program benefits from a 50% reduction in crime and the elimination of homicides, where the program components of community engagement, community intervention and prevention have been integrated into neighborhood rhythms.
“Today we have come together to heal in community at Roscoe’s. I want to send my condolences to the family of PnB Rock. I also want to express my sympathy to the workers who witnessed this violence,” Harris-Dawson said. “Raise the family in our thoughts and prayers and all those affected by gun violence.”
Along with District Eight Council Member Harris-Dawson, neighboring Council Member Curren Price of District Nine Council supported the event. Community organizations that provided support were Community Coalition, Gang Alternatives Program, Los Angeles Conservation Corp, Southern California Cease Fire, Chapter TWO, APUU-Advocate 4 Peace & Urban Unity, and Coalition for Responsible Community Development.
Support from the spiritual community included Pastor Edgar Boyd of First AME Church, Pastor Ken J. Walden and Reverend Louis Tillman of Holman United Methodist Church. Community activist Najee Ali was also present.