Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Attorney Talia Gee, Springfield Police Captain Trent Duda, and Mayoral Aide Lavar Click-Bruce also attended the meeting. Executive Director Ruth Zakarin and Community Organizer Angelica Fontes attended on behalf of the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and Juanita Batchelor, President of Mothers Overlooked Reachout Empowerment (M.O.R.E.) was also present.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to thank Ruth and Angelica for reaching out and meeting with my administration to continue our dialogue on finding a solution to address gun violence in our community and what steps can be taken to identify the root cause of this issue so we can collaboratively review the measures and initiatives necessary to end gun violence on our streets. I want to thank Ms. Juanita Batchelor for joining us and participating too. Ms. Batchelor is such a strong, caring and compassion woman whose heart and soul is fully committed to addressing this violence that plagues our community and addressing the gaps in services. My administration is dedicated and is looking forward to reviewing all plausible means to stand with them in their fight for change to protect our loved ones, our neighborhoods, and our Springfield.”