RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond group called for action at a community meeting about rising gun violence on Thursday. Community members said they did not feel heard by city officials and wanted more to be done.
The recent “Assembly Meeting on Community Issues” was the first of four meetings and included discussions on affordable housing, health care, mobile homes and gun violence. The meeting was organized by Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC).
RISC is a faith-based program, churches, mosques and synagogues come together with a unified view of faith as it relates to justice and the pursuit of justice for those who deserve it.
The group says it has called on Mayor Levar Stoney to implement its gun violence prevention program — called Group Violence Intervention — in the city since June 2022. The program is already in place in several other cities across the country.
RISC board member Marvin Gilliam Jr. said they hadn’t heard from Stoney since he was elected.
“It’s not about politics for us. It’s literally about saving lives. It’s about doing what we can to work together to make sure people don’t die on our streets anymore and that people have what they need,” Gilliam said.
RISC is supported by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and the US Attorney’s Office.
“It really works not only to address the violence itself, but also to identify the support and services needed to ensure those involved in the violence get what they need so they don’t have to be treated in violence,” Gilliam said. “Some people feel ignored. something we know he succeeds in.
RISC said he planned to be at the next city council meeting on November 14.