Out of respect for the families of two young men slain in a gang-related shooting at a private event in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 5, the City of Santa Monica and State Senator Sheila Kuehl are postponing the second Community Workshop on Gang Violence in Santa Monica, originally scheduled for March 12.
The workshop, designed as an “action planning” follow-up to the February 26 workshop that was attended by 400 members of the community, is being rescheduled for Saturday, April 9, at John Adams Middle School, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
“With a heavy heart and yet, with some optimism, I have asked the City of Santa Monica to reschedule the gang violence community action planning meeting that was planned for March 12,” said Senator Kuehl. “I strongly feel that the community needs some time to grieve the loss of two of its young members, and to help the families that the two men left behind. There are lessons to be learned from this recent incident. I have, therefore, asked that our action planning meeting be postponed to April 9, so that we will have an opportunity to come together, take what we have learned, and craft an action plan that will provide constructive programs and appropriately targeted community, regional and state resources for our young people. We must act together to ensure that we do not lose another young person to gang violence.”
“Knowing that many people who want to be involved in the workshop will understandably need to turn their attention elsewhere, including funeral preparations and family support, in the coming days and weeks,” said City Manager Susan E. McCarthy, “the City Council, staff and our many community partners agree with Senator Kuehl that rescheduling is the best course. We share the Senator’s optimism for continuing community commitment to this effort and expect a large attendance on April 9.”
Information about the April 9 workshop is available online at StopGangViolence.smgov.net, along with details of the work accomplished at the February 26 workshop.Donations to the families of Hector Bonilla and Jonathan Hernandez are being accepted by the Pico Neighborhood Association. Checks may be made payable to PNA, with “Victims of Violence Support Fund” noted in the memo section, and mailed to Pico Neighborhood Association, 1705 Pico Blvd., Box 125, Santa Monica, CA 90404.