After a proposal by Gwen McKenzie at yesterday’s city council meeting, members along with Mayor Madeline Rogero came to an 8-1 vote to ban gun shows at city owned facilities.
Proving herself as a strong ally for East Knoxville and the urban community, Councilwoman Gwen McKenzie remained vigilant and tough on the issue of firearm shows in neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
Her stance is important as community members in East Knoxville remain most concerned on the issue of gun violence as a top issue and priority for leaders to address.
“It’s very hard to understand it if you’ve never lived in a community or neighborhoods where gun violence is prevalent, where hearing gunshots is prevalent and having to go to funerals of young people is prevalent,” McKenzie said.
Chilhowee Park which has been well known for hosting large gun shows in Knoxville would be impacted relieving many of its residents.
“It’s quite offensive that we’ve had gun show in a community that has seen it’s fair share of violence in the past … the black community will tell you pretty quickly that they don’t like that they have them in our community in such close proximity to schools and churches, especially in the racial climate we’re in today,” she said.
Representation matters in local government and Councilwoman McKenzie has proven that so. Without representation, it is easy to think that our voices do not matter. Without it our communities suffer because no one is at the table to make decisions which directly impact our lives.
In November there are 3 African-American candidates for City Council on the ballot, Amelia Parker, David Alex Hayes, and Charles F. Lomax, Jr for consideration.
It’s important to push for diversity because having a broader range of people, perspectives, talents and identities can lead to more innovative and productive ways to solve community issues and less public officials making decisions on behalf of a community full of people they don’t know or understand.
Vote on November 5th.
Angela Dennis is a Writer in Knoxville, TN and Editor for Black With No Chaser. Her work has been featured in multiple publications such as the Knox News Sentinel, Blavity, Black Girl Nerds, and many more.