The city will host a Town Hall on the topic of Gun Safety and Community Safety on June 20, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lake Washington High School Theater on 12033 Northeast 80th St.
The Town Hall is the first of several community engagement actions from council Resolution R-5312, which was adopted by the council on May 1 and relates to gun safety and community safety.
“The City Council heard from members of our community who feel strongly that we should take action on ways to reduce gun violence,” said mayor Amy Walen in a press release. “We want people of all viewpoints and perspectives to have an opportunity to share their ideas with us on how to help Kirkland stay a safe community. We invite our community to come together around our shared value of community safety in order to have meaningful dialogue about our city’s next best steps.”
The Town Hall will be one method to collect input from the community on actions the city might undertake to reduce gun violence. The city council is interested in the community’s views on topics such as:
- Improved enforcement of existing laws and regulations
- Education and training programs to support responsible firearm ownership
- Mental health support and initiatives
- State and local legislation on firearm safety
In addition to the Town Hall, other methods of collecting input may include interviews, focus groups and a survey.
City staff will present a report of community feedback to the City Council on July 17 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. The report will be available online on July 13 as a part of the City Council Agenda packet. The City Council will use the community feedback as they consider options for city budget initiatives, the city’s state legislative agenda and possible changes to city ordinances and policies.
“We strive to be a safe, inclusive and welcoming community, and tackling this topic will give us the chance to show we mean it,” said council member Penny Sweet, chair of the Public Safety Committee in a press release. “Gun violence is clearly a topic of national interest and can be one that brings communities together or drives them apart. We need everyone’s perspective in order to strengthen our community, continue the conversation and move forward.”
In addition to collecting community input, the city will be hosting community conversations on the topic of firearms. The intention for these dialogues will be to provide community members the opportunity to learn from each other and gain insight into different perspectives as it relates to firearms.
“A hallmark of Kirkland is that we listen and try to truly understand each other’s hopes and fears,” said council member Toby Nixon in a press release. “On this topic, we need to continue to seek common ground and come up with consensus proposals that are actually achievable and have a realistic chance of being implemented to improve safety and security. Our goal is that Kirkland is an example to the rest of the country as the way to do it right.”
More information on all of the events and outreach methods mentioned in this release will be posted to the city website, sent out through the city’s weekly email newsletter and communicated through the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
City staff welcomes ideas on how to ensure that everyone can participate in this process. To share suggestions, or for questions, please email or call David Wolbrecht, Neighborhood Services Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-587-3011.