On March 31st, across the country, students orchestrated town hall meetings with their elected officials, asking them to join them for a dialogue about gun violence in American schools. The #TownHallForOurLives is a movement spearheaded by the students of Majorie Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida – but like a true grassroots movement, it involved students from around the country taking ownership and agency, and Staten Island and New York’s 11th Congressional District was no exception.
The #NY11TownHall that took place that night was an opportunity for the community to come together and was attended by local elected officials such as Councilwoman Debi Rose and State Senator Diane Savino. After learning that no local GOP would be in attendance (still hiding in that phone booth, Dan Donovan?), the students invited all the NY11 Congressional Contenders still left in our race, instead.
Radio Free Bay Ridge attended and live-tweeted the two-and-a-half-hour event. We’ll be uploading the full audio this weekend.
Today, in anticipation of more March for Our Lives Events centered on our neighborhood (including one this Saturday organized by local teens in Bay Ridge) we spoke to one of the organizers of the Staten Island Town Hall, John Papanier. We talked about how the local students are leading the way on this incredibly important issue.
Remember to check out the upcoming event in Bay Ridge, the Town Hall on Violence Against Young People & Candidate Q&A. Some of our local NY11 Congressional Contenders will be showing up, too! The conversation will range not only from school violence, but also international forms of violence against youth including those stuck in war zones and who are subject to state oppression! RSVP on Facebook or show up on Saturday, April 14th, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Salaam Arabic Lutheran Church of Brooklyn at 14 80th Street Brooklyn, New York 11209.