Longmont City Council heard an update Tuesday night during the city council study session. The update was presented by Steven Kukik, Ph.D. on the outcomes of the Safety and Respect Café that was held back in September of 2018. At the café, over 150 community members and leaders came together to address concerns over gun violence in a peaceful and respectful attempt to find common ground in the argument.
Kukik discussed with council the structure of the café, which was organized to facilitate proactive conversation. People with dissenting opinions gathered around small tables for casual discussion over the gun rights issue.
He had members of the café discuss two key questions: what can we do individually, and what can we do collectively to reduce the risk of gun violence and respect people’s rights? One of the goals of the conversation was to seek to understand and to be understood. There are many different perspectives on this issue in the city of Longmont.
There were four themes that came forward: violence in our culture as a root cause of lethal behavior, mental health, education (of all kinds), and the roles and responsibilities of local, country, state, and federal organizations. Though this is technically a faith-based community event, city council is still working with Kukik and other organizers of the café to ensure that the public is heard in open forum discussions such as these.
The Safety and Respect Café has scheduled an action planning session for February 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Longmont Museum. At this next session, four groups with two conversation facilitators for each group will work to address the four themes that came from the Safety and Respect Café.
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