GENEVA – Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns read two proclamations at the June 3 City Council meeting, declaring June 7 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and recognizing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month.
All 10 aldermen approved both proclamations.
The proclamation on gun violence awareness calls for community members to wear orange June 7 to acknowledge that 100 Americans are killed by gun violence every day and that Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with guns than people in other high-income countries.
The day also seeks to honor the late Hadiya Pendelton, who was shot to death in 2013 just after she marched in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade. June 2 would have been Hadiya’s birthday.
“Her 22nd birthday,” Burns said.
Wearing orange on June 7 will raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors.
“We renew our commitment to reduce gun violence,” Burns’ proclamation states. “And pledge to do all we can to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our children safe.”
Wearing a Moms Demand Action T-shirt, Martha Paschke of Geneva said, “We hope that you will wear orange, and this weekend, there will be many opportunities to participate.”
Burns’ proclamation celebrating Pride Month in Geneva states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
“While society at large increasingly supports LGBTQ equality, it is essential to acknowledge that the need for education and awareness remains vital to end discrimination and prejudice,” according to the proclamation. “This nation was founded on the principle that every individual has infinite dignity and worth.”
The proclamation calls on the city’s residents “to embrace this principle and work to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists.”
“Celebrating Pride Month influences awareness and provides support and advocacy for Geneva’s LGBTQ community and is an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue to strengthen alliances, build acceptance and advance equal rights.”