Grandmothers celebrate the passage of I-1639, Safe Schools, Safe Communities on Election Night 2018
A Brief History of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
Founded in January 2013, a few weeks after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence is a 501 (c) (4) with nearly 1200 members and a vision to make the world a safer place for our grandchildren and for theirs.
Grandmothers Against Gun Violence (GAGV) has a strong advocacy and public education agenda. GAGV is committed to advocacy in support of gun laws that promote safe and responsible gun ownership and use. GAGV works to promote community policies that protect the public from potential harm. One example was our March, 2014 protest, carried out in conjunction with Moms Demand Action, at the Seattle Public Library against the library’s open carry policy.
Grandmothers is a grassroots organization. We have held five Grandmother Lobby Days in Olympia, testified several times before relevant House and Senate Committees considering gun reform legislation, attended bill signing and signature drop off occasions, and emailed, written, and called almost every member of the Washington State Legislature. GAGV worked tirelessly to support and help pass Initiative 594 that is now law that requires universal background checks. We collected more than 30,000 signatures to help qualify the initiative and then canvassed many state precincts to urge support. We have formed Speaker’s Bureau and spoken to more than 3000 seniors living in assisted residential homes, nursing homes, and at senior centers.
We carried this advocacy action forward with Washington State Initiative 1491, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, in 2016.
Once again, in 2018, Grandmothers worked tirelessly to help pass Initiative 1639, Safe Schools, Safe Communities. The people of Washington State, picking up where elected officials, succeed in passing at almost 70% of the vote one of the nation’s most comprehensive gun safety measures.
Step by step; vote by vote; testimony by testimony, letter by letter, march by march, Grandmothers is a powerful, persistent agent for positive change.
Grandmothers has hosted 45 public education programs on topics such as a public health approach to gun violence prevention, mental illness and gun violence, how to run a successful campaign, the 2nd amendment from a legal perspective, and welcomed WA State Senators and Representatives who have spoken on safe storage, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. In October 2014, GAGV hosted the first mayoral candidate debate on strategies to reduce gun violence in Seattle. In October, 2017, we hosted a second forum with Seattle Mayoral candidates, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, on gun violence prevention.
Beginning December 11, 2018, our outstanding programs will take place at the Northwest African American Museum. Anyone is welcome to attend.
GAGV believes in partnerships and is proud to work closely and collaboratively with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Moms Demand Action, Ceasefire, Faith Action Network, The Washington State Survivors Network, and Everytown for Gun Safety.
GAGV has a stable, committed, enthusiastic Board of Directors and a highly engaged membership. As an example, GAGV has hosted the greatest number of tables at each of the five annual Alliance for Gun Responsibility fundraising luncheons.
Grandmothers believes in evidence based approaches to solutions for gun violence. To this end, we have made two $10,000 contributions to the University of Washington, School of Public Health. This research has investigated the frequency of gun ownership in Washington State and critical patterns of safe storage. Recent focus has zeroed in on populations at risk, such as individuals with alcohol and drug abuse. These studies have appeared in the American Journal of Public Health and JAMA Pediatrics, both in 2018.
Grandmothers is currently planning a year of significant growth and impact. We are developing a statewide chapter system. We enjoy the vision that soon every grandmother in Washington State will be no farther than 100 miles from a chapter!
Grandmothers is committed to diversity and inclusion. We understand that gun violence plays out differently across communities. Guided by our diverse Board and membership, we will embark on new efforts to address all variations in gun violence on 2019.