Civic Coalition to Save Lives

Collaborative Voices

Estelle Richman, Executive Director of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives

“There is nothing more important than saving lives and I am honored to be part of this mission, which has the support of so many of Philadelphia’s great leaders. My goal here is to listen more to those people in the community whose lives are being impacted, particularly all of the young men who are being shot or doing the shooting. Even if they are doing the shooting, I think they want something else out of life and part of it is trying to listen to help them figure it out.”

Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition

“This violence affects our entire city and impacts the health and wellbeing of individuals, and whole communities in too many neighborhoods.  We know that change will not happen overnight, but there is reason for hope.  Together, as a city, we have the resources, support and commitment to save lives. There is nothing more important we can do for the city than to address the gun violence crisis.”

Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of Philadelphia Foundation

“Last year there were 562 homicides in our city.  The vast majority – 506 people – were lost to gun violence. We are on a similar pace this year. The future of Philadelphia is at stake and we are all stakeholders who have a shared responsibility to step forward and contribute to effect change. Government has a crucial role to play, but government can’t do it alone. This public crisis demands civic leadership and coordinated civic action.” 

Shawn McCaney, executive director of the William Penn Foundation

“As this diverse Coalition of leaders grows, the Mayor and his administration, the District Attorney and City Council President have welcomed our offer of partnership. The key, however, will be sustaining the durable civic leadership essential to maintaining a focus on and helping to address this and other challenges facing the city.”

Michael Forman, Chairman and CEO of FS Investments and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Equity Alliance

“I applaud Pedro and Sean for their leadership and am proud to be a founding partner of this most critical effort,” said Michael Forman, Chairman and CEO of FS Investments and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Equity Alliance. “As a civic community, we have a laudable track record of rallying around one-off projects, like attracting political conventions and sporting events to Philadelphia,” Forman continued. “But now we need to turn our focus on building and sustaining collaborative efforts that address our most pressing needs like reducing gun violence, improving education, building better housing and creating stronger economic opportunities.”

Mike Innocenzo, President and CEO, PECO and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

“We believe that the solution to gun violence requires all of us to work together – government, civic leaders, businesses, and faith-based organizations – acting with a sense of urgency and resolute commitment,” said Mike Innocenzo, President and CEO, PECO and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “While we may not have all the answers, we share the responsibility to elevate the quality of life for all who call Greater Philadelphia home.” 

Erica Atwood, Senior Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety; City of Philadelphia

“Addressing the needs of the people and places most vulnerable to gun violence is a critical component of our Roadmap to Safer Communities and our violence prevention strategy. We look forward to working with the Civic Coalition to build a holistic ecosystem focused on creating safe and healthy neighborhoods across the city, free from gun violence.” 

Tumar Alexander, Managing Director; City of Philadelphia

“We are glad the Civic Coalition is underscoring that our intervention approach to reducing violence is the right one, and we appreciate the foundations’ longstanding, ongoing commitment to prevention work. To have additional support as we confront this issue is invaluable, and we’re happy the Coalition is offering their partnership to help us continue to strengthen our work. We are eager to collaborate with all who are interested in taking action today and in ensuring that this effort is sustainable in the years to come.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

“The Philadelphia Police Department has always been clear that we need the support and collaboration of community stakeholders in order to reduce crime in our precious neighborhoods. We are grateful to the Civic Coalition for their partnership in our continuous mission towards making Philadelphia a safer place to live, work, and play.”

Council President Darrell L. Clarke

“Our city’s civic and government leaders and law enforcement must work hand-in-hand and act with urgency to reduce gun violence – this is a crisis that demands collaborative civic action,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “We’ve seen evidence of the success of that strategy first-hand in Chester and Trenton, along with the work authorized and funded to date by City Council. I appreciate and support this civic-led effort to increase collaboration, provide tools and resources and support the organizations who have been focused on this important gun violence prevention work in our communities.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

“Like any effective movement, ending gun violence in our city is everyone’s responsibility, and it requires cooperation, diligence and determination. I am eager to bring the resources of my office together with the Coalition and the City to build on those collaborations and foster greater coordination with all partners who can contribute to an effective strategy to decrease gun violence.”

David Muhammed, Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

“In cities that have reduced gun violence, there is a shared ownership of the problem both inside and outside of government,” stated David Muhammad, Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform.  “The Coalition to Save Lives and its efforts to engage leadership from the broader civic, philanthropic, faith-based and business communities is an important step towards ensuring that shared ownership and understanding.  The offer to galvanize resources that can supplement and strengthen the city’s ability to coordinate and scale the effective intervention programs is promising.” 

Mel Wells, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Day At A Time, Inc.

“The Civic Coalition to Save Lives speaks to the need to organize efforts around meeting the most at-risk people right where they are. This is hard, necessary work that requires the resources to have the right people, with the right training, doing the right things every day to save lives.”

Gregory E. Deavens, President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross

“Gun violence in Philadelphia is a societal problem that affects the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community. This gun violence epidemic requires a collaborative community-based effort to identify and implement effective solutions,” said Gregory E. Deavens, President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross. “The Coalition to Save Lives is bringing together the right public, private and philanthropic resources to help reverse the devastating gun violence trend. Through collaboration and community engagement, and with focused determination and sustained attention, we can and will make a difference.”

Bret Perkins, Senior Vice President, External and Government Affairs, Comcast

“Philadelphia is facing a challenge that will take collaboration and sustained commitment among government, philanthropic, community and business leaders to address,” said Bret Perkins, Senior Vice President, External and Government Affairs, Comcast. “There are no easy answers, but we know we must act, and act together. The Coalition to Save Lives serves to galvanize our civic community. We look forward to doing our part to help our hometown.”

Guy Generals, president of the Community College of Philadelphia

“Gun violence is taking lives, destroying families, eroding the fabric of our communities, and threatening the future of Philadelphia,” said Guy Generals, president of the Community College of Philadelphia. “As the City’s college, we are committed to this Coalition and working collaboratively with all partners involved.  It’s critical to the future of our city and our communities that we unite in the effort to save lives.”

Keith Bethel, CEO of the Philadelphia Equity Alliance

“The Philadelphia Equity Alliance is proud to be a founding member of this coalition. Broad, diverse partnerships and collaboration are critical ingredients for change and we look forward to working in partnership with this growing coalition of leaders on the myriad issues impacting public safety.”

Leslie S. Richards, CEO and General Manager, SEPTA

“Gun violence is a complicated societal issue that requires focus, coordination and resources to save lives. SEPTA is invested in the communities we serve, the wellbeing of our employees and our riders and we are committed to supporting this important effort. It’s one of the most important things we can do for the City.”