RICAGV Press Release

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence Celebrates Work at Record Breaking Fundraiser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2018

CONTACT: Kat Kerwin, Director of Communications

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence Celebrates Work at Record Breaking Fundraiser

Providence, Rhode Island (October 10, 2018) – The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) celebrated another year of growth and accomplishment in their fight to reduce gun violence in Rhode Island at their fifth annual fundraiser. The RICAGV was proud to welcome over 200 guests who came to show support, including Governor Gina Raimondo, U.S. Congresspersons David Cicilline and James Langevin, Lt. Governor Dan McKee, RI Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, RI Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey, along with Mayors Jorge Elorza (Providence) and James Diossa (Central Falls).

The RICAGV presented the 2018 Gun Violence Prevention Impact Award to Father Raymond Malm. Father Malm, formerly of St. Michael’s parish in Providence, was a founder of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. His work for peace through creating safe spaces for Providence youth has been an integral part of the fight to reduce violence in our city and our state.

Xavier Copeland, a sophomore at Providence’s Classical High School and board member of Young Voices, spoke to the crowd about his community organizing work with the RICAGV’s Youth Committee, as well as his work on the Governor’s Task Force for Gun Safety. “If we are the future then we need to lead America to it,” said Copeland. “We aren’t just kids looking for attention. We are changing America with our voices.”

Governor Gina Raimondo expressed her strong commitment to reducing gun violence in Rhode Island, citing her signing of a 2017 bill that disarmed domestic abusers, as well her first of its kind executive order that pressured the legislature to pass “red flag” legislation in 2018. She also expressed renewed commitment to keeping guns out of Rhode Island’s K-12 schools, and banning assault weapons in Rhode Island.

The Coalition was excited to be joined by so many supporters to celebrate our remarkable growth over the past year, which includes hiring our first full time employee, implementing a robust youth program, as well as our historic endorsement of over 60 candidates for political office this electoral cycle. RICAGV President Linda Finn, “When have come a long way in the five years since we started the RICAGV. We have 109 Partner Organizations. We have several thousand members. We now have 40 Endorsed candidates running in the RI house and 23 Endorsed candidates in State Senate fighting for the gun violence prevention policies that Rhode Islanders don’t just want, but need.”

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“directly measurable cost of gun violence in Rhode Island exceeds $95 million each year, with a direct annual cost to taxpayers of approximately $19 million.”