PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community is calling for change as increased gun violence plagues Philadelphia. Residents and elected officials gathered with one goal in mind — finding solutions.
About 100 residents showed up to the town hall meeting that was hosted by U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon. City and state officials are hopeful meetings like this will bring about change but those in attendance say more needs to be done.
“We are supposed to be The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection but they are just words,” one woman said.
Tuesday evening dozens gathered to address the gun violence epidemic in the city. It’s been plaguing Philadelphia for years now and residents came out with ideas that community leaders were eager to hear.
“We want to hear from the community. We want to hear peoples ideas, we want to see where you think we need to be leaning in harder,” Scanlon said.
But if you take a look at the faces in the crowd, it’s not exactly reflective of the people who are in need of help. That’s something one 15-year-old in the crowd took notice of.
“We need the youth to come and speak because if we’re the future then where are we at?” Renee Whittington asked. “It’s nobody here but like two or three kids. Who is really here for the youth? Who’s really here to speak for us?”
It’s not the first town hall meeting city and state officials have attended to find a solution. So Eyewitness News asked those in attendance if the meeting will actually bring about change.
“The majority of the people who are here are part of the solution, or working at it. But the people who really need to hear it aren’t here,” Eastwood resident Steve Young said.
As the city continues to work to fix the problem of violence, residents are hoping that change comes sooner rather than later.
“We need to take this message outside to safe confines of the buildings and take it out onto the streets and into the community,” Young said.
As of Monday, there have been 202 homicides in the city this year. That’s a 5% increase from this time last year.