Philly officials want your ideas on gun violence solutions. Sessions begin this week

Philadelphia is bringing back “listening sessions” to gain community feedback on the gun violence crisis, extending a series held in the spring.

Rows of T-shirts bearing the name of Philadelphians lost to gun violence are on display with a fence and bushes in the background.

T-shirts bearing the name of Philadelphians lost to gun violence displayed at the Day of Serenity at Clara Muhammad Square, on May 15, 2022, were set up by Movita Johnson. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Working on a solution to gun violence and want to share it? Get in touch with gun violence prevention reporters Sammy Caiola and Sam Searles.

The city of Philadelphia is again inviting community members from neighborhoods impacted by gun violence to share their ideas to reduce shootings.

In the spring, representatives from the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety held 10 meetings over six weeks for a total of 300 participants, including virtual attendees. They asked people to share their ideas about how to deal with the crisis.

Attendees talked about cleaning up neighborhoods, creating jobs for youth, and investing in afterschool programs. The city says it has taken that feedback into account and is launching a fall series of listening sessions to discuss possible steps forward.

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There will be five meetings between now and September 15th. All meetings are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and dinner will be served.

Wednesday, Aug. 23
Mayfair Rec Center
2990 St. Vincent Street

Tuesday, Aug. 30
Emmanuel Christian Center
5913 Chestnut Street

Thursday, Sept. 1
Location TBD

Thursday, Sept. 8
Hope Partnership for Education
2601 N. 11th Street

Thursday, Sept. 15
The Lighthouse Outdoor Facility
199 E. Erie Avenue

In the spring, some attendees told WHYY they expected the meetings to include more updates from the city about their Roadmap to Safer Communities — a massive plan released in 2019 and designed to confront gun violence as a public health crisis.

Representatives from the city said the fall programming will be a combination of telling the public what they’re up to and gathering feedback.

A recent survey of more than 500 Philadelphians, conducted by nonprofit group Frontline Dads, found that 96% of residents think city leadership “could do more to stop gun violence” and 89% say city leadership has never asked them for suggestions on how to address the problem.

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