Oakland City Leaders Promote ‘Love Life’ to Reduce Gun Violence

Just after 9 a.m. Saturday, a number of Oakland City Council members stood outside City Hall, demanding change. They remembered and morningd those who had been killed by gun violence this year.

Speakers and poets took to the podium for about 30 minutes near Frank Ogawa Plaza. City Council Speaker Nikki Fortunado Bas helped promote the city’s lesser-known motto, “Love Life.”

“We really try to build on that motto to really show people that the best resource we have is ourselves,” Fortunado said. “To really get this love life message across, caring for each other when there’s abuse and remembering the abuse isn’t the answer.”

It comes after two violent weeks in Oakland, including a shooting at Kings Estate Campus, where six people were shot dead in the middle of a school day.

After the brief comments, each board member present held an open conversation in their own district.

In the Third District, council member Carol Fife led the conversation at Mount Zion Baptist Church, starting with the fact that she’s all too familiar with gun violence.

“There was a child who grew up and was raised with my son,” Fife said. “The one I used to pick up every day in Prescott that was lost to gun violence. I know him very well.”

People had the chance to speak directly with the police captains present. They expressed ideas that they want to see within the police service.

“Answers that sound good don’t get results,” said Sharon Cornu of Oakland. “We have to look for things that work. I’m convinced that the Ceasefire program and the violence switches and strong community organization make the most difference.”

City leaders want to focus on how to keep guns out of the hands of young people. They hope to take ideas collected during their listening sessions and bring them back to the city council.

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