Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Announces Commission Against Gun Violence Members

May 23, 2018 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced the names of 37 individuals who represent a cross-section of the Houston community to serve on his new Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence. The diverse group includes students, parents, physicians, law enforcement officials, gun-rights advocates, gun violence victims and members of faith-based and civil rights organizations.

The commission’s charge is to develop and propose specific recommendations to improve gun safety in our schools, neighborhoods and communities through action on the local, state and federal levels.

In March, the mayor announced plans to establish the Commission Against Gun Violence in solidarity with the national student-led movement March for Our Lives. He made the announcement at a downtown Houston rally and march that drew thousands of people.

The mayor, who has a lengthy legislative record advocating for schools and for responsible gun use, is inspired by young people who have organized to educate elected officials and the public about the need to improve school safety and effectively address gun violence issues on school campuses.

“I’m not interested in engaging in a political battle or fight against any organization,” Mayor Turner said. “But I am interested in coming up with ideas that can make society safer for our children, irrespective of where they come from, their religious beliefs or languages they speak, because the shooters have demonstrated they do not respect human life.”

Shortly after a Santa Fe High School student was charged with killing eight classmates and two teachers, Mayor Turner encouraged school districts to consider measures that would make schools as safe as government buildings.  “You can’t walk into city hall without going through metal detectors and our children deserve the same protection in their schools,” the mayor said.

Mayor Turner will give the commission the time and resources it needs to research and submit recommendations. However, he has asked the commission to provide some recommendations before the next school year starts in the fall and the rest before the start of the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature.

The following people have been appointed to serve on the Commission Against Gun Violence.

Rev. William Lawson

Honorary Chair 

Founder & Pastor Emeritus, Wheeler Baptist Church

Rabbi Samuel Karff

Honorary Chair 

Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza

Honorary Chair 

Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Kendra

Willis

2017 Ms. Wheelchair Texas, gun violence survivor

James

Tucker

Yates High School Graduate/ Family member of gun violence victim

Sam

Peña

Houston Fire Chief

Dr. David

Persse

Chief Medical Officer 

Victor 

Gonzalez

Mayor's Anti-Gang Office 

Art

Acevedo

Houston Police Chief 

Ed

Gonzalez

Harris County Sheriff

Kim

Ogg

Harris County District Attorney 

Paul

Cordova 

Interim Police Chief, Houston Independent School District

Vera

Bumpers

Metro Police Chief

Marcel 

McClinton

March for Our Lives High School Student

Wasiq

Javed

March for Our Lives University of Houston Student

Madeline

Lake

March for Our Lives High School Student

Ariel

Hobbs

March for Our Lives University of Houston Student

Alina

Dong

Chair, Mayor's Youth Council

Andrew

Yoo

Law School Student

Ping

Sun

Rice University and Attorney 

Aimee 

Mobley Turney

Houston Area Group Lead, Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America & Gun Safety Chair of League of Women Voters of Texas

Tiffany

Ross

Director of Education and Outreach, Mental Health America and Mayor's LQBTQ Advisory Board

Sonia

Corrales

CEO, Houston Area Women's Center

Judson

Robinson, III

President, Houston Area Urban League

Mary

Ramos

Executive Committee, LULAC

Yolanda

Smith

Executive Director, NAACP

Haley 

Carter

Captain, United States Marine Corps, Houston Dash 2014-2016

Cornelius

Blackshear

Director of Veteran's Services, United Way

Dr. Bindi

Naik-Mathuria

Attending Surgeon, Trauma Medical Director, Texas Children's Hospital & Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine

Jerry 

Ashworth

CEO, TIRR Memorial Herman

Dr. Peter

Stout

CEO, Houston Forensic Science Center

Johnny

Mata

Coalition for Justice, LULAC

Abbie

Kamin

Associate Regional Director, Southwest Region,  Anti-Defamation League

Dr. Robert

Muhammad 

Founder, Action CDC

Dan

Snare

President, American Leadership Forum

Sheryl

Ropollo

Owner, Wagon Wheel Ranch

Deric

Muhammad 

Activist/Author