Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey met with at-risk youth on Saturday to talk about reducing gun violence.
It happened at a summit hosted by the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, which also drew city council members.
Gainey said these community partnerships are a pillar of his plan for peace, which he unveiled earlier this month as his strategy to address violence in the city.
“If our plan for peace is going to be successful, we need to listen to those affected by gun violence,” Gainey said, calling Saturday’s event a space “so we can hear directly from young people in our city about this what we can do to make Pittsburgh a safe city for them and their families.
More than 50 young people and their families were invited to the summit, which was organized by the Rev. Cornell Jones, the city’s group violence response coordinator, and Sister Mary Williams of Save a Life Today Pittsburgh.
Jones said he was excited to continue the work they started with those who attended Saturday’s summit.
“These young people have inspired me and continue to give me hope that we can have peace,” he said.
City Council Speaker Theresa Kail-Smith has called for meetings like the one held over the weekend to help end gun violence – especially violence affecting the city’s youth.
“Council members have been horrified by the violence facing young people in our neighborhoods, and by meeting with young people at risk, we hope to learn more about what the Council can do to help,” he said. she stated.
The leaders spoke with the young participants in the arena before entering the conference rooms for smaller discussions.
“The Penguins fully support the efforts of Mayor Gainey and his administration to reduce violence and provide a collaborative approach to providing better opportunities for our youth,” said Kevin Acklin, president of business operations for the Penguins. “We stand ready to serve, along with other organizations and city leaders, to chart a safer and more prosperous path for our neighborhoods.”