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Salt Lake mayor announces gun violence panel, seeks applicants

Salt Lake Ciry Mayor Jackie Biskupski asks what she can do to support the March for Our Lives cause during a town hall at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy on Saturday, July 14, 2018. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, Biskupski announced the formation
Salt Lake Ciry Mayor Jackie Biskupski asks what she can do to support the March for Our Lives cause during a town hall at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy on Saturday, July 14, 2018. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, Biskupski announced the formation of a Commission Against Gun Violence.
James Wooldridge, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Jackie Biskupski has announced the formation of a Commission Against Gun Violence that will explore policy questions regarding gun violence and to make funding recommendations to be shared with city, county and state officials, as well as the Salt Lake City School District.

The commission stems from an exchange with student activists at the July 14 “Road to Change” town hall in Sandy, sponsored by March for Our Lives. While there, Biskupski asked a panel of activists what they would like to see her do as mayor to address gun violence. One panelist requested she create a gun violence commission to explore funding and policy options.

“I told those students ‘done and done’ when they made their recommendations to me,” Biskupski said in a statement. “We have seen our young people stand up against the gun violence, which is putting their lives at risk every day, and it is critical leaders begin to listen and act on their message.”

The commission will consist of 15 members comprised of individuals from the Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake City Police Department, March for Our Lives, the faith community, the mental health community, as well as others impacted by gun violence. The mayor’s office is also seeking applications from Salt Lake City residents interested in the topic to fill four vacant positions.

The panel will be staffed by two members of the mayor’s office, Simone Butler and Jennifer Seelig. Seelig, a former state representative currently serving as a senior adviser to the mayor, was present at the 2007 Trolley Square mass shooting that claimed the lives of five individuals and wounded four others.

The commission is expected to meet initially in October with a goal of developing potential funding recommendations for the legislative session in January.

Community members interested in applying for the four available seats on the commission can apply at goo.gl/forms/abUUAyXIq1DQO9UI3.