7th Annual Community Forum Now Just Days Away!

Going Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

Monday, October 12, 2020
9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Zoom Webinar 

The recent deaths from gunfire in Kansas City of an infant riding in a car, a 4-year-old boy sleeping in his bed and a 19-year-old woman celebrating a holiday stand as stark reminders they and their families deserve much more than thoughts and prayers.

That’s the focus of our 7th annual and first-ever virtual Community Forum, Going Beyond Thoughts and Prayers, moderated by two professionals in the field: Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, and Ian Cummings, breaking news editor of the Kansas City Star and local director of Report for America, focusing on gun violence in Missouri.

The two moderators will keep the conversation flowing among panels of local business, government and faith leaders. They’ll discuss specific actions they’re taking to prevent gun violence that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic, which in turn has spawned increases in homicides, suicides, domestic violence and even accidental deaths. See the day’s agenda, the list of participants including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and how to register.

The most important Forum participant, however, is you. After each panel’s presentations, you can ask questions and press for more information. Then on Monday Oct 26, join us on Zoom to discuss the Forum and help develop steps that go “beyond thoughts and prayers.”

Also with you in mind, the agenda includes 15-minute breaks after each panel’s Q&A so you can stretch, take a quick walk, maybe grab a snack. Or you can continue screen time and learn key facts about gun violence, GAGV’s Lock It For Love program and why words matter.

Because this year’s Forum is virtual, it’s never been easier to attend. Invite friends and relatives to register and then discuss your thoughts during breaks. Engage like-minded people you know down the block or around the country in learning more about GAGV and its work. Those could be among your first steps of “going beyond” in our shared efforts to prevent gun violence.

Register today! 

The 2020 Election: Act Now to GOTV

For what seems a very long time, we’ve been gearing up for next month’s election knowing it’s one of the most important of our lifetimes. Now with only four weeks remaining, it’s absolutely crucial to take more next steps of being active, informed and helping Get Out the Vote (GOTV).

Many of you may already be involved in local or national GOTV efforts. If not, now’s the time! Consider these different activities you can do safely from home:

LETTERS: The Big Send is a campaign to write and mail 10 million letters to potential voters. Sending a letter is one of the easiest things a volunteer can do to encourage voter turnout. All it takes is a few minutes plus a stamp to help increase the odds that 10 million more of our fellow citizens will vote. More information here.

    PHONE CALLS: Indivisible is working hard to connect with voters around the country and encourage them to vote like their future depends on it, because it does. By staffing a phonebank, you’re making a personal connection that could have a direct impact on the election. If interested click here.

    TEXTS: NextGen America wants help connecting with more young people and getting them registered to vote. Click here for more information. 

      Closer to Home

      Mainstream Coalition’s Voter to Voter Project

      We assume our friends and neighbors vote in every election, but maybe not. Voter to Voter has proven to increase turnout by identifying people in your circle who are infrequent voters and may only need a little extra encouragement to actually vote. Encouraging people simply involves sharing helpful information like:

      • Deadlines for voter registration and mail-in ballots
      • Finding sample ballots before heading to the polls and
      • Dates/times/locations for early voting

      Getting this information easily from someone they know and trust makes it more likely infrequent voters will vote. Please note: both Kansas and Missouri members can participate in Voter to Voter, but this initiative is only for your contacts who are Kansas voters.

      Start with 10 friends or neighbors, then register with your email and password at the GAGV Voter to Voter tool. Once you’ve registered, we’ll send additional instructions.

      Souls to the Polls  Car Caravan

      On Saturday, October 10, a car caravan designed to GOTV will take place in KCK from 10:30 am-noon. It’s a great opportunity to generate enthusiasm for the upcoming election. Event details are here. If you are interested, email Judy Sherry. It would be fun to have a few cars filled with GAGV member wearing our orange shirts.

      Remember: You’re a Voter, Too

      Important Key Voting Dates


      • Tuesday October 13: last day to register to vote
      • Wednesday October 14: first day for advance in-person voting
      • Tuesday Oct 27: last day to request a mail-in ballot
      • Monday November 2: noon deadline for advance in-person voting
      • Tuesday November 3: postmark deadline for returning mail-in ballots; officials suggest allowing at least 10 days for mail delivery.


      • Wednesday October 7: last day to register online, by mail or in person
      • Wednesday October 21: last day to request a mail-in ballot
      • Thursday October 22: first day for early in-person voting
      • Monday November 2: last day for early in-person voting
      • Tuesday November 3: completed mail-in ballots must be received by 7 pm; officials suggest allowing at least 10 days for mail delivery.

      Remembering RBG

      An outpouring of tributes, memories and sadness followed the passing last month of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Widely respected for her successful efforts for gender equality and social justice, she was also known for her strong opinions on the Second Amendment and gun rights. In 2008 she dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Constitution establishes an individual’s right to bear arms albeit with some common-sense restrictions.

      In a 2013 interview she said the Second Amendment was out of step with the needs of modern society. “I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia,” she said. “The Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete.” Read the entire transcript here. 

      Her opinion differed from that of her friend and court colleague, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority decision. However, even Scalia made clear the Court’s decision would leave untouched many “longstanding prohibitions” on the use of guns. Click here for more.

      Getting More Comfortable with Social Media

      More than 50 people Zoomed into September’s session with social media professional Avery Gray to learn how to better use Instagram. Some were new to Instagram while others were more comfortable, but all agreed Instagram is a great way to expand GAGV’s reach, particularly among younger people. If you’re already on Instagram, follow us at @gagv101. If you’ve been waiting to take the Instagram plunge, now’s the time to download Instagram and follow us.

      If you missed the meeting or want a follow-up Zoom call, let us know and we’ll get one scheduled.

      All GAGV Instagram posts are on Facebook as well, so spread the word by sharing our posts from either platform. Please invite your friends and family to follow us on Instagram @gagv101 and Facebook. It’s a great way to promote GAGV and the upcoming Forum.

      Calendar of Events

      Thursday October 8, 9:45-10:30 am
      KC Cares Podcast

      Hear GAGV President Judy Sherry’s interview with KC Cares, a local radio show/podcast about nonprofits. ZOOM and live-streamed on Facebook.

      Saturday, October 10, 10:30 am-noon 
      Get Out the Vote in KCK

      Meet at Kansas City, Kansas Community College. Learn more.

      Monday, October 12, 9:00 am-12:30 pm 
      Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence 7th Annual (virtual) Community Forum

      Gun Violence: Going Beyond Thoughts and Prayers
      Register here

      Tuesday October 20, 6:30-8:00 pm
      AdHoc Group Against Crime virtual event: 
      Epidemic of Violence: How did we get here?

      Featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of Between the World and Me. Free and open to the public. Register here

      Monday October 26, 4:00 pm
      GAGV Zoom Follow-Up to Community Forum

      Share reaction and explore ideas for next steps in Going Beyond Thoughts and Prayers.

      Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5564109298?

      Meeting ID: 556 410 9298

      Passcode: GAGV

        Grandparents Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, that focuses on issues related to gun violence in Kansas and Missouri. We are working with community partners on strategies such as distributing gun locks to help gun owners protect the children in their homes from tragedy.

        P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207  |  [email protected]

        Donate to Grandparents Against Gun Violence

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