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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Hosts Gun Violence Forum with Student Leaders

May 23, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force on May 23, 2018, hosted a hearing on gun violence that featured a panel of students from Florida, Maryland and Illinois.

Malachi Dunn (Hallandale Magnet High School), Ricky Pope (Miami Northwestern Senior High School), and Devery Russell (Miami Lakes Educational Center), who are members of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project; Jennifer Mirbelle (Miami Northwestern Senior High School) and Taylore Norwood, (King High School), who hails from Chicago, delivered heartfelt testimonies about living with gun violence in their communities. In addition, 50 Role Models students attended the forum as part of their annual trip to the nation's capital.

Lawmakers also heard from Florida students Charlie Mirsky (Spanish River High School) and Alfonso Calderon (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School), who spoke about school shootings, and Maryland student Daniel Gelillo (Richard Montgomery High School), who shared how the Parkland school shooting inspired him to become an activist.

"Gun violence is a plague that is infecting our nation. No one and no place is immune to it. Shootings are now happening in places that were once considered safe havens, like schools and churches,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “This issue is like an octopus with many tentacles, each representing a different component and it is imperative that we figure out how to address every one of them.”

“Young men and women across the country are marching, mobilizing and demanding action to end gun violence,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It was a great honor to listen to the stories of some of these young champions, and to be inspired by their eloquence, persistence and leadership.  The Congress must have as much courage as these students have shown, and fight for real action to protect our communities and ensure that no family must endure the heartbreak of gun violence.”

“Students from across the country are speaking out for their lives. This generation has grown up in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings, and they expect Congress to work to make them safe in their schools and communities. We owe these students so much more,” said Congressman Ted Deutch. “I’m proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues who are ready and willing to have a serious gun violence prevention debate, one that respects the Constitution and does everything necessary to keep guns out of dangerous hands. We welcome our Republican colleagues to join us to take action for gun reform now.”

To view the hearing, click here.