TAKOMA PARK — The Takoma Park City council voted to condemn acts of gun violence and to support the planned March 24 national “March for Our Lives” demonstration in a 6-1 vote, Wednesday evening.
“As a council … I felt like we really needed to support our young people and wanted a lot of the voices we’re hearing standing up,” said Council member Kacy Kostiuk (Ward 3), who sponsored the resolution.
Drafted in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the resolution cites gun violence statistics, their disproportionate effects on racial minorities and urges peaceful action to reduce gun violence.
“We take positions on state legislation, periodically, and this is an opportunity for us to voice support for some of the bills we felt were important and make a difference in our state and thus make a difference for the people in our community,” Kostiuk added.
Althea Davie, a member of the Takoma Park Youth Council, commented in support of the resolution.
“We just want to voice our support for the resolution … it’s a movement being led by youth, driven by youth, and supports youth and we appreciate that this city supports youth,” Davie said.
Council member Jarrett Smith (Ward 5), who voiced support for gun control describing the high number of gun-related deaths in the country as “despicable,” cast the lone dissenting vote, explaining “it says a lot more when you do not take a position on the bill to members of the General Assembly.”
“We need to have a laser-light focus and say what we want in a bill,” Smith added. “We cannot waste our energy in the cache we have built as a jurisdiction just saying we support any bill anybody puts out because many of these bills don’t go anywhere.