Connecting state and local government leaders

After Another Mass Shooting, a ‘Growing Fraternity of Mayors’ Dealing With Tragedy

Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson speaks at a press conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday at the National League of Cities annual City Summit.

Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson speaks at a press conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday at the National League of Cities annual City Summit. Michael Grass / Route Fifty

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Unfortunately, this is the “stark reality that we face as elected leaders,” said Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

LOS ANGELES — The mass shooting at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California late Wednesday night, which claimed the lives of 12 people, hit close to home for many local public officials from around the nation who had gathered about 40 miles away for the National League of Cities annual City Summit in Los Angeles.

That includes Little Rock, Arkansas Mayor Mark Stadola, the outgoing NLC president whose own city responded to a mass shooting at a local nightclub in July 2017 where 25 people were shot—miraculously, nobody died. During a press conference on Thursday and at the City Summit’s opening general session, Stadola said that there’s now a “growing fraternity of mayors” and city officials who constitute a network of support for local leaders across the nation who are dealing with the aftermath of a great tragedy.

During remarks at the general session, Gary, Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said mass shootings are, unfortunately, “the stark reality that we face as elected leaders.”

Clarence Anthony, NLC’s executive director, said that mass shootings have become so pervasive in the United States that all municipal leaders need to be prepared to respond.

“It’s not whether an event like this will happen in your community, but when it will happen in your community,” Anthony said.

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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