Do Something

Demand city leadership take action on gun violence

Find out who represents you on the city council and reach out to let them know that you want to see action on guns and violence in our city.

Here you can find the schedule for the Philadelphia City Council meetings as well as instructions on how to sign up to speak. You can review the agendas on the calendar here and watch meetings live here.

The official website for the Office of the Mayor provides basic contact information including a phone number, but you can also reach out using this form.

Find out who your state and federal representatives are and demand action on gun control and programs that curb violence.

Make sure you are registered to vote and cast your ballot! The general election is on Tuesday, November 8. Here is everything you need to know about how to vote!


The scale of violence

Resources and data for victims, families, and activists

Up the Block is connecting people in Philadelphia with resources for victims’ services, mental health counseling, and prevention programs. This free guide is developed by The Trace, a non-profit newsroom of journalists covering America’s gun crisis.

An image of a city in crisis, no matter how disheartening, can be more impactful than raw numbers. From the Office of the Controller, this is an interactive map of violence in Philadelphia. View and interact with data going back to 2015 on homicides and shootings in the city. Each data point is a person injured or killed.

For a national context, The Gun Violence Archive is a stark repository of the statistics on gun violence in America. Here you can export research data, view maps and Congressional reports, and review almost in real-time the toll that guns have exacted on us. Remember that each of these numbers is a person with a story.

Get Involved

Engaged citizens strengthen democracy

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia—whether you want to contact your City Councilmember to voice your concerns about rising violence, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

“We Deserve for You to Protect Us”

In the midst of another grim year of gun violence, The Trace asked Philadelphians what they want leaders to do. Here’s what they said.

“We Deserve for You to Protect Us”

In the midst of another grim year of gun violence, The Trace asked Philadelphians what they want leaders to do. Here’s what they said.

After a record year of homicides in 2021, Philly again is in the midst of a massive gun violence crisis, with 203 homicides to date, including carjackings, people shooting Uber drivers, and incidents that claim the lives of young people.

Residents are fed up with the losses, the feeling that they might not be safe outside their homes — and by what many see as a lack of action from our elected leaders.

In the runup to the primary last month, Up the Block, The Trace’s Philadelphia-based community engagement project, talked to residents at events throughout the city to find out what they wanted the city’s 37 elected officials to know and do about the violence wracking Philly’s neighborhoods.

Here’s what they told us they want to know — and what they want their electeds to do.

Check out more from Up the Block here.

Keeping firearms away from youth

Yata Bear, a 36-year-old from West Philly, said he was most concerned with how Philadelphia’s young people are getting their hands on guns. “The kids are getting them before the adults, which is crazy to me,” he says. “I want to know how they’re getting it and I want to know how y’all are going to stop them from touching these guns.”

His friend, who wished to remain anonymous, added, “Kids can’t get a basketball to shoot hoops but they can get a gun to shoot other kids.”

A teen’s challenge for local government

John Brown, a 19-year-old from the Logan section of Philadelphia, attended CeaseFire PA’s Rally to End Gun Violence, which was organized in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. “What are we doing?” Brown asked. “The fact that we have mass shooting after mass shooting, and in the city of Philadelphia we … have shootings every day. This is sickening. I just ask, are you working with the other side of the aisle?”

He added, “Is this career politics for you? Are you really trying to make a difference?”

A potential solution

Jeffrey Johnson, a 60-year-old from West Philly, wants to understand why his local leaders aren’t incorporating formerly incarcerated people who have turned their lives around into their violence prevention tactics.

These state senators … that’s in the community, they need to connect more with the elders of the community that’s coming from these prisons that have changed their life,” says Johnson. “Have something positive for the youth … They (elected officials) could connect with the youth, and have more lines of communication, because the youth trusts the elders.”

A lack of trust in government

Bear said he didn’t vote in this primary because he hasn’t seen evidence that voting can create change. “It don’t matter if I put a vote in or I don’t vote, I still see the same, you know, process of what’s going on.”

Jefferson has spent his whole life in Philadelphia. First in North Philly, now in West. He didn’t vote, either. “I didn’t vote today based on my feelings towards the politicians,” he said. “They are really not stepping up with the gun violence … We shouldn’t be suffering like this.”

How Philadelphians see gun violence in their community

Brown, who attended the CeaseFire PA rally because he wanted to speak with his local leaders, wants officials to know, “There’s such a beauty to our culture that people just don’t know about. We have our own dances. We have our own sayings and food. We’re a strong community, and we deserve for you to protect us.”

Marian Fischer Pearlman, who works with Team Up Philly, an organization dedicated to empowering girls living in under-served Philadelphia neighborhoods, had a message for officials: “We are all affected. It changes who we are, it’s defining who we are as a city and a country.”

This story is published in partnership with The Trace, a nonprofit newsroom focused on covering the nation’s gun violence crisis. Sign up for its newsletters here.



19-year-old John Brown attended attended CeaseFire PA’s Rally to End Gun Violence to speak with local officials.

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