Garcetti Turns to Young People to Combat Gun Violence

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Earlier this year, the slaying of Nipsey Hussle, the rapper and Crenshaw neighborhood champion, came as a harsh reminder that although crime has declined in the city in recent decades, gun violence is still a daily reality for many Angelenos.

Sarah Robinson said she was among those who mourned Hussle’s loss. She graduated from Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles this month, and said she saw him as a role model in the community.

But it was the death of her cousin, who was gunned down last year leaving a party, that served as her clearest call to action.

“He was just an innocent bystander,” she said. “That’s family — seeing stuff like that, it hurts.”

Ms. Robinson was part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Youth Council to End Gun Violence. She worked on the group’s new campaign, Louder Than Guns, which aims to get more young people involved in efforts to curb shootings.

Though, as noted in the fine print, the insurance coverage is fake, the ads were meant to highlight how inured we’ve become to the shock of gun violence by presenting a “dystopian” view.

Later, the ads were set to be replaced by posters directing viewers to the Louder Than Guns website, where readers can find information about the program and about how they can advocate for gun control and violence prevention measures. The program cost about $25,000 from the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development.

The idea that what is essentially an awareness campaign could make a meaningful dent in a broad problem with elusive solutions may feel optimistic.

DARE — the antidrug campaign started by the Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. public schools in 1983 — was later found to be ineffective.

I asked Mr. Garcetti about why his office backed this particular approach.

[Here’s a look at California’s gun laws, among the toughest in the nation.]

First, he said the effort stemmed from the work of the students themselves.

“This was a chance to follow young people’s leadership,” he said.

Doing that, he said, was crucial, as kids and teenagers increasingly become front-line activists on issues like gun control and climate change.

Mr. Garcetti added that the campaign was not limited by the sort of one-way messaging that has defined awareness efforts like DARE in decades past.

“We’re not just saying, ‘Hey, be aware, don’t do drugs,’ and end at that,” he said. “This becomes a network of shared email addresses that we can mobilize when there’s important legislation, nationally or at the state level. This is what you can do in your neighborhood.”

For Ms. Robinson, the campaign will be successful if it inspires other young people to speak up about their experiences.

“Be ready, because we’re not going to stop until we get those results,” she said. “The youths are coming for it.”

• Also, California gun owners are stockpiling ammunition before a new state law goes into effect requiring buyers to undergo a background check. [The Los Angeles Times]

(We often link to sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. We appreciate your reading Times coverage, but we also encourage you to support local news if you can.)

• As she seeks to reinvigorate her presidential campaign, Senator Kamala Harris has started going on the offensive about her record as a prosecutor and decrying “self-appointed political commentators” who she said don’t understand the nuances of criminal justice. [The New York Times]

• And here’s a fact-check of some of Ms. Harris’s statements on the campaign trail. [The New York Times]

Pacific Gas & Electric cut off power to 20,500 customers in Yuba and Butte Counties over the weekend as gusty winds and dry conditions heightened the risk of wildfires. The shutdown was part of the utility’s plan to prevent its equipment from sparking potentially catastrophic blazes. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

• Also, state officials are grappling with how to cover the costs of wildfires to come. [The New York Times]

Six Flags Magic Mountain evacuated park-goers and closed early as firefighters worked to contain a brush fire nearby. [Los Angeles Daily News]

• The Bay Area is bracing for some of the hottest temperatures so far this year. Concord is forecast to reach 95 degrees. [The Mercury News]

• Two more horses have died at Santa Anita Park since Dec. 26, bringing the total to 29. Now, a regulatory agency is asking that the track shut down. [The New York Times]

• It’s more than the combined ticket sales of the last two “Avengers” movies, more than any pro sports team. It’s $4.7 billion and it’s how much Google made from the work of news publishers, via search and Google News, in one year. [The New York Times]

• Esquire released its list of Best Bars in America. California is, of course, very well represented on the roster of 27 watering holes, with spots in L.A., San Francisco, Palm Springs, Oakland and San Diego making the cut. [Esquire]

• The Rough Fire in 2015 destroyed the only public walkway into a marble cave full of stalagmites and stalactites deep in the Sequoia National Forest. Now, Boyden Cavern is finally open again. [The Fresno Bee]

This year, L.G.B.T.Q. communities around the country are marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. That includes Los Angeles, where thousands of revelers descended on West Hollywood for the city’s 49th annual Pride parade.

The Los Angeles Times has a neat history of the city’s festivities. Here’s where to find The New York Times’s coverage of Pride. And here’s more about the less known stories of queer California, some of which are part of an exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California.

Now, some more photos.

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Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, went to school at U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter, @jillcowan.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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