Oakland city leaders promote "Love Life" to reduce gun violence

Just after 9:00 a.m. Saturday, a number of Oakland City Council members stood in front of city hall, asking for change. They were remembering and morning those killed by gun violence this year.

Speakers and poets took the podium for about 30 minutes near Frank Ogawa Plaza. City Council president Nikki Fortunado Bas helped promote the not-so-well known city motto, "Love Life."

"We are really trying to lean into that motto to really show people that the best resource we have is ourselves," Fortunado said. "To really put forward this message of love life, caring for one another when there are acts of violence and to remember violence is not the answer."

This comes after a violent two weeks in Oakland, including a shooting at the Kings Estate Campus, where six people were shot in the middle of a school day.

After the short comments, each council member in attendance held open conversation in their own districts. 

In district three, council member Carol Fife led the conversation at Mount Zion Baptist Church, beginning with how she is too familiar with gun violence.

"There was a child who grew up and was raised with my son," Fife said. "Who I used to pick up from Prescott every day, who was lost to gun violence. I'm very familiar."

People had the chance to speak directly with police captains who attended. They expressed ideas they want to see within the police department.

"The responses that sound good don't get results," said Sharon Cornu of Oakland. "We have to look for things that get results. I'm convinced the Ceasefire program and violence interrupters and strong community organization makes the most difference."

City leaders want to focus on how to prevent guns from getting in the hands of young people. They hope to take ideas gathered from their listening sessions and bring them back to city council.