To Honor Trayvon Martin, Assemblymember Bonta Asks Community To Channel Outrage Into A Peaceful Struggle For Justice And Equality

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

“We must find ways to stem the gun violence that is taking the lives of too many of our children, too soon,” says Bonta.

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Chair of the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay, made the following statement this week regarding the Trayvon Martin verdict:

“The deaths of Trayvon Martin and all young victims of senseless gun violence are a national tragedy and I join those across the country in mourning their loss. As a father, my thoughts and prayers go out to Trayvon Martin's parents for whom the tragedy was only deepened by this past weekend's developments. 

“Our nation must respond to the call of Trayvon’s parents to continue the national dialogue and fight for actions and policies to help other young Americans avoid Trayvon’s fate.  We must all search deeply to determine how we can learn from this tragedy and make sure it is not repeated.

“As we approach the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, I am encouraged by the progress our country has made in becoming a nation in which Americans are not ‘judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’  But we are all also reminded by Trayvon’s tragic death and last weekend’s verdict, that there is still much work left to do. 

“Too many parents in Oakland, throughout the East Bay, and across the nation are grieving over the loss of their children to gun violence.  As your Assemblymember, I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure that Trayvon Martin's death was not in vain.  We must be vigilant in finding ways to stem the gun violence that is taking the lives of too many of our children, too soon.

“I want to add my voice to those calling for the Department of Justice to continue a federal investigation of the matter.  Our community, which is still reeling from its own tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed young African American man, looks to federal authorities for justice so we can begin to heal these wounds,” Bonta continued.

“We also must realize that our community is being judged on our response to the jury’s verdict.  I echo President Obama’s call to ‘ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.’ The counterproductive acts of those outside of Oakland who come into our city vandalizing storefronts of businesses employing hard-working Oakland residents and destroying property neither honors the memory of Trayvon Martin nor widens the circle of compassion and understanding.

“I encourage our community and our nation to channel the passion of our outrage and sadness towards the vital, peaceful struggle for justice and equality.

“As a community and as a nation, and, painful as it may be at times, we must progress together or we will not move forward at all,” concluded Bonta.

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. He Chairs the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee and the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay; and is a member of the Assembly Health, Transportation, Banking & Finance, and Elections & Redistricting Committees.