Anti-gun campaign gives voice to Mattapan residents
Mayor Thomas Menino announced yesterday the city is forming a coalition to crack down on gun violence in Mattapan.
The campaign, called “Our Mattapan. Many Pasts. One Future,” is part of a $2 million collaboration to reduce gun violence and support high-risk youth and families.
Menino joined dozens of community members Wednesday evening at the Mattapan Community Health Center for the launch.
The campaign highlights 12 Mattapan residents who shared personal stories about the impact of violence in their lives and its destabilizing effect on the broader community. They include two mothers who lost sons, a local police officer, an incarcerated young man, a violence interrupter, neighborhood businesspeople and community activists.
“A gun is a powerful thing. These guys think they’re cool, but we gotta stop glamorizing that life,” reads one of the campaign’s posters that features Tony Seymore, who is also known as “Big Time.”
Big Time has been a violence interrupter working with at-risk youth in Mattapan for nearly a decade, according to officials.
The poster and several more featuring similar messages will be displayed throughout Mattapan for the next two months on billboards, at subway and trolley stations, and along popular bus routes.
“Our plan to reduce gun violence across Boston and in Mattapan includes many different approaches. We go after impact players and their illegal guns. We offer job training opportunities. We connect families to city resources and programs,” Menino said. “But this work must be paired with a strong public message – one that is for residents and by residents – to stop the violence and engage everyone in achieving that goal.”
Residents and community members worked hand-in-hand with city officials to produce the campaign.