Civic Coalition to Save Lives

March 2023 Issue

Civic Coalition to Save Lives Executive Director, Estelle Richman appointed by Mayor Kenney as the Managing Director’s Senior Advisor for Gun Violence Initiatives

Why it Matters:  Continued widespread gun violence, including the recent tragic shooting death of Temple University Police Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald – underscores the critical importance and urgency of this work.

  • With this appointment, Estelle will serve as the single point of coordination and accountability for the gun violence intervention programs focused on those individuals at the very highest risk of killing or being killed. 

Highly regarded and uniquely capable, Estelle brings decades of experience, a broad understanding of Philadelphia governance and a track record of developing lasting public-private partnerships to effect change. 

  • Much of Estelle’s early efforts have focused on meeting with individuals engaged in and impacted by gun violence, a hallmark of Richman’s approach to public service, as noted in a profile published last month by The Philadelphia Tribune.
  • In addition to the many community- and faith-based organizations working in neighborhoods across the city, Estelle has also met with leadership of the Hospital-based Intervention Programs in the city’s Level I trauma centers.

These conversations are informing the development of the Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center and have underscored three important points: 

  1. Philadelphia has an array of skilled practitioners and promising programs which are cause for hope.
  2. Much of this work is disconnected, siloed and not adequately resourced.
  3. The traumatic nature of this work has a significant impact on the practitioners – there is a growing need for self-care/trauma care for organizational staff.

The standup of the coordination center is targeted for the second quarter

  • Early efforts are focused on improving coordination and communication among and across the city and its partners and providing support to intervention organizations in ways that will accelerate their work rather than slowing it down.
  • Fundraising in support of these activities is gaining momentum.  If you would like to discuss providing financial support, please contact Shawn McCaney directly at

Lend Your Voice

Coalition member Ceasefire PA Education Fund is advocating for intervention funding at the state level and is circulating an open letter to Governor Shapiro and leadership in the General Assembly. 

  • Request is to provide funding to intervention programs that engage individuals at risk for being involved in violence, as victims or perpetrators, within the next three years.
  • Funding for these purposes and at the requested levels have help reduce incidents of aggravated assault, homicide, and other violent acts by 30 percent in other states.

This type of funding could support the Group Violence Intervention program, which is being implemented in Philadelphia and showing promise, according to a report the city released earlier this week. 

  • Ensuring these evidence-based programs have adequate financial support and are effectively coordinated are key to achieving the Coalition’s goal to reduce gun violence in the near-term. 
  • We have signed onto this letter and ask that you consider lending your name to this effort by following this link.

Candidate Education

Coalition leadership has implemented the first stages of a stakeholder Education Campaign, conducting one-on-one outreach to all announced mayoral candidates.

  • Continual engagement with Mayoral candidates is being planned and briefings for all city council candidates will be coordinated once the field is set. 
  • Coalition leaders also continue to meet with corporate, civic, faith-based leaders and community stakeholders to actively learn about and engage in the work ahead.

The Civic Coalition to Save Lives appreciates your continued commitment to this critical cause. There is nothing more important we can do for the city than to address the gun violence crisis.

Pedro A. Ramos
President an CEO
Philadelphia Foundation

Shawn McCaney
Executive Director
The William Penn Foundation