Update: the event will be held at Affinity Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, from 4:30-6:30 PM. The address is 4411 E 175th St, Cleveland, OH 44128
Cleveland, Ohio – Lobbying for A Safer Tomorrow (LAST), an organization founded by Ohio high school students seeking further legislation and resources regarding taking action on gun violence prevention, is hosting town hall events across Ohio to address further action. On the day of the student walkout, April 20, LAST’s Cleveland Area teenagers intend to host a Town Hall for Ohio’s elected officials and candidates for the 2018 election.
On March 14, LAST gathered over 250 teenagers and brought them to lobby in Columbus, Ohio, where they spoke to their state legislators about the issue of firearms and gun violence prevention. Now, following national protests, LAST wants to inspire community action on a state and local level. Inspired by the students in Parkland, Florida and determined to effect change, this diverse group of Cleveland youth is prepared to hold political figures accountable. Follow along with the event on Twitter and Instagram at @LAST_OH14. Information regarding LAST can be found at lobbyfortomorrow.com.
WHO: Greater Cleveland High School Students
WHAT: Community Town Hall for Ohio Candidates
WHEN: Friday, April 20, 2018, 4:30-6:30 PM
WHERE: To Be Determined – Several Facilities under Consideration
Community members, including students, parents, and more, will be able to ask questions of their 2018 Ohio candidates in an informal town hall style. Beginning at 4:30 PM, student moderators will invite audience members to propose questions on gun reform legislation and community safety initiatives. LAST encourages all community members, including those already involved in gun violence prevention work, to attend this important event. It will be open to the media.
“I am a part of this movement because it is meaningful, it is intersectional, it is rational, and it is important. Our nation is at a tipping point, and I believe young people have the power to push it over the edge,” said Katrina Cassell, a student organizer for social media and recruitment and junior at Shaker Heights High School. “This Town Hall is just one step in a greater message that says loud and clear: if you do not favor the lives of your constituents, we will vote you out.”
“A black man is thirteen times more likely to be the victim of gun violence than a white man. Gun violence prevention is not only an issue of flawed legislation and the power that gun lobbying organizations hold over our politicians but an issue of injustice,” said Emma Duhamel, the lead student organizer and a senior at Shaker Heights High School. “LAST’s Town Hall gives us an opportunity to ask candidates and elected officials about what they are doing to protect constituents and address the systemic roots of gun violence and the disproportionate impact it has on minority communities.”
“Gun violence is not a new issue in America. It’s one that many communities have seen for a long time, a dangerously repetitive pattern in our history and present,” said Daania Tahir, a student organizer for fundraising and junior at Laurel School. “It is crucial to keep the rapid growth and passion of this movement rising, and I’m ready for my generation to see and enact change.”