Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility Announces Gun Violence Prevention Summit
Center for American Progress Action Fund releases new poll at summit that shows universal background checks are more popular than pizza or the Seahawks in Washington state.
Seattle, WA — As the December 14 anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy approaches—an event that galvanized the nation to seek solutions to gun violence—leaders of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and the Center for American Progress Action Fund will convene more than 200 local advocates and concerned citizens to plan how to strategize, organize, and communicate to make the universal background checks effort a success in 2014.
The summit is part of a series of similar events by the Center for American Progress Action Fund aimed at empowering leaders at the state and regional levels to take action even as federal efforts to strengthen and reform firearm safety remain mired in congressional gridlock. Washington state is currently the only state with a grassroots effort to promote a ballot measure in 2014 to address the gun violence crisis.
“Our group was founded by faith leaders, moms and grandmothers, law enforcement and civic leaders who simply had to take action after last year’s tragedy,” said Alliance Director Zach Silk. “In less than a year, we have built a true grassroots organization that is looking for solutions in 2014 and beyond. This event solidifies our commitment to serve as a voice for gun violence prevention here in Washington, and a strong partner to our national allies.”
In conjunction with the summit, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing:
- The results of a new poll that shows, among other things, that Washington state is for background checks. Top lines from the poll include:
- 81 percent of respondents support requiring a criminal background check of every person who wants to buy a firearm.
- That is more than the percentage of Washingtonians who support the Seattle Seahawks, which stands at 74 percent; who like pizza, which stands at 79 percent; and only 3 points less popular than ice cream.
- An infographic showing that “Washington state is for background checks.”
The campaign for the ballot measure, Initiative 594, is led by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. If approved, I-594 will expand criminal background checks to cover all gun sales, including online, gun show, and private sales.
“We are excited to be working with local leaders and partners in the growing, national effort fighting for stronger gun laws,” said Allison Zelman, Gun Policy Campaign Manager at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Around the country, people from all walks of life are demanding action to protect their communities and families. Leadership and innovative strategy here in Washington is providing an inspiring example to others of what can be done at the ballot box and beyond.”
The December 11 summit will be held at the Seattle Center Pavilion and will feature spokespeople and experts in legislative and political strategy, media and message training, community organizing, and other topics. A panel of faith, law enforcement, and legislative leaders will commence activities. Other groups participating in the summit include Americans for Responsible Solutions, Organizing for Action, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Washington Alliance leaders will also discuss ideas for expanding beyond the initiative and legislative process—including potential for establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm to engage in public education efforts, and a political action committee to work directly with candidates on gun violence prevention.
For additional information, contact Christian Sinderman of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility at 206.683.8380, or Katie Peters at the Center for American Progress Action Fund at 202.741.6285.