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PA state rep Danilo Burgos has made gun reform an integral part of any legislation he pushes in Harrisburg. Archive: ALDÍA News

Rep. Danilo Burgos talks gun violence and police reform in Philadelphia

Election day is creeping up on us, so what are the big topics on the table? In Philadelphia, it is all about gun violence.

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When Danilo Burgos first moved to Philadelphia, his uncle was murdered by gun violence in North Philadelphia. Since then, he shared with AL DÍA, that he’s known a number of people lost to guns. 

As a Pennsylvania State Representative, these events play a major role in the policies he’s put forth in office.

But in Philadelphia in 2020, it hasn’t been enough. 

“We all collectively need to do more. Need to work on engaging our youth. Help those kids who are more likely to end up in that predicament. Help them see other sides of life, so they can steer clear of any trouble,” said Burgos

Some of his impact has admittedly been hindered by the Trump administration. Burgos must adhere to the federal guidelines. 

However, he believes people should not be able to buy more than one firearm a month and that there should be more comprehensive gun reform. Some of his suggestions in the grand scheme of things include more mental health screenings for potential gun buyers and universal background checks.

The way Burgos is tackling the crisis in Philadelphia? He is working on bringing more athletic and academic clubs in his district.

On the other end of the spectrum is tackling police reform. One reform policy in the works is making police officer conduct more transparent. 

In addition, Burgos thinks that we need more community policing. What he means by that is more community engagement with police officers and vice versa.

Burgos is part of a working group of police reform stakeholders at the state and city level and they’ve have worked on immediate action around police reform in both spheres.. 

The other problem the government runs into is that the guns they confiscate or find were not bought, sold, or made in Philadelphia. 

It’s a problem at the national level that requires national solutions because it is hard to know where they are coming from.

Burgos hopes, in the event of a Biden-Harris administration, that under their jurisdiction, if Democrats increase their number in the House of Representatives and Senate, then there should be similar gun control to the Clinton and Obama years. 

But in the meantime, Burgos said that the only way to put talk to action is by coming together as a community. 

“We all need to put in the work. State legislatures, federal legislatures, to go into one room and come up with a plan. I believe we need to impose our stakeholders and work on common goals,” he said.

It is clear that the 2020 election has a lot at stake, including the lives we are losing daily to what feels like a never ending cycle of violence. Make sure to practice your right to vote this year, it matters.

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