Credit: K. Kendall via flickr
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Like you, I have been outraged, horrified, saddened, but not surprised at the recent onslaught of gun violence in the United States: we had seven mass shootings in seven days this month. We’ve seen an increase in hate crimes against people of Asian descent, inflamed by the rhetoric of white supremacy and aided by easy access to guns (the Atlanta shooter purchased a firearm the same day he used it to murder eight people). This is beyond unacceptable. A recent Vox article notes some important statistics: We know that developed nations with more guns have more gun deaths. Americans make up less than 5% of the world’s population yet own roughly 45% of all the world’s privately held firearms. For example, the U.S. has six times more gun deaths than Canada and Germany. And we aren’t learning from our mistakes: Since Sandyhook, there have been more than 2,500 mass shootings in the United States. I am baffled that lawmakers won’t pursue remedies to keep their own families safe. 

Earlier this month, the Board of County Commissioners issued a statement condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. I wholeheartedly support their statement, and encourage you to read it. And I hope you will take time to learn about and advocate for safe firearms policies. One great resource is the Giffords Law Center, founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. 

My team is hard at work on the second phase of auditing the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re focusing this phase on cost recovery and analyzing the results to an employee survey. In the meantime, check out the reports from the first phase of the pandemic response audit: congregate care settings and organizational level support. You can also read our other reports completed in 2020: the 2020 Annual Report, the 2020 Good Government Hotline Activity Report, and the 2020 Financial Condition Report

Best,

Jennifer


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