ALTON - Several around the Alton community were wearing orange on National Gun Violence Day on Friday, June 2, 2023.

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National Gun Violence Day was marked throughout the United States and there was a strong effort made this year in Alton to recognize the day. Alton Mayor David Goins said he believes National Gun Violence Awareness Month is very important, especially with some of the recent shootings in the city. The mayor’s wife, Shelia, has also been very supportive of his efforts in regard to gun violence awareness.

The late Hadiya PendletonMayor Goins pointed out the month began after Hadiya Pendleton was killed at age 15 after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Hadiya would have been 26 this past June 2.

“It has deep meaning, we are working on some other things that are coming up in regards to addressing gun violence,” he said. “Stay tuned we will be reaching out for other things we are doing in the community. We are not taking this lightly. We don’t want gun violence in our city.”

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A Facebook Group has been organized by Alton teacher Candice Wallace named “Alton’s Be The Change.” Wallace’s family has recently been impacted by the loss of a loved one due to gun violence.

“My thought is National Gun Violence Awareness Month is not just about wearing orange, but it is about having events and community forums to talk about ways in which to minimize gun violence in their communities," she said.

The mayor is coordinating with owners of C&K Community News Center’s Kendra and Curstan Stiff of Alton on a Stop The Violence event from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 15. Mayor Goins will be there speaking along with other community leaders and Alton residents.

The YWCA has a Community Conversations forum event planned to begin at 5 p.m. on June 22. Gun violence awareness will be discussed at the community event, the mayor said. This will be the second Community Conversations event hosted by the YWCA.

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