City leaders march through Tacoma in effort to stem gun violence

TACOMA, Wash. - Wednesday, elected city and state officials, police officers, community leaders and more than a hundred other people marched down Portland Avenue in an effort to end gun violence.

So far in 2019, there is already more than 20 homicides in the city of Tacoma; that is more than all of 2018.

In the last few weeks, community members and elected officials have said they are sick of the violence and are working to make a change.

“We’re saying enough is enough,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards.

Woodards, as well as other members of city council, state officials, police officers, members of the Puyallup Tribe, local organizations and members of the community marched together to show their unity in an effort to end the violence.

The marchers held signs, played drums, and chanted as they made their way down Portland Avenue.

Woodards says showing this unity through marching is necessary to bring about change but says action needs to happen.

“If I could dream a dream, it would be three months from now there are no more homicides of young people in our community,” she said.

Woodards says there is not one answer to ending this violence. She says a big part of the solution is members of the community stepping up to make the change.

“We have the right to take pride in our city and take ownership,” said Candace Wesley.

Wesley is the organizer of Tacoma Cease Fire, a new organization focused on ending violence in the city. Tacoma Cease Fire was only created a few weeks ago, but Wesley say they already have 25 members.

She says her group is focusing on hitting the streets and interacting with members of the community who are at risk.
Woodards says the effort from groups like Tacoma Cease Fire, and the unity the community is showing with these marches will help bring the change needed in Tacoma.