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Student Video Stars Hit City Hall!

posted Jan 22, 2013, 12:32 PM by BHC Boyle Heights   [ updated Jan 22, 2013, 12:32 PM by Julio Zaldivar ]
Demand a Plan Photo On Steps

Anne Stuhldreher color
by Anne Stuhldreher
Senior Communications Program Manager for Neighborhoods and Schools
Jan 16, 2013

What a day!

Six students from South Los Angeles and Boyle Heights met yesterday with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to talk about how to keep schools and communities safe and violence-free. About fifteen gun control and community health experts joined the students and the Mayor for this closed door “listening session.”

The students were invited by the Mayor following the success of their video demanding a “real plan” to keep schools and communities safe. In the 60-second video, which crossed the 1 million views milestone last week, local teenagers say that gun control and increased security on campus are not the only answer to keeping schools safe. In addition to improved security, they argue for more school counselors, mentors, health services on school campuses, and common-sense school discipline reforms. The students were inspired by the celebrity-driven “Demand a Plan” video released last month in response to the Newtown tragedy.

Afterwards, the young people hit the steps of City Hall for a press conference with the mayor. “I take my cues from these talented young people,” said Mayor Villaraigosa as he addressed the crowd of journalists.

The six young people then did interviews in English and Spanish with newspaper, radio, and TV stations.  “It was a lot of fun, I really liked it,” said Brooke Brewer, who was interviewed by a TV station from France!

Check out some of the coverage below:

CBS Los Angeles

KTLA Los Angeles

Big thanks to our Building Healthy Communities partners Peace over Violence and the East Weingardt YMCA for making the day such a success, and to the young people themselves: Dijonnaise Pickens, Mikell Watson, Luis Melchor, Dianna Martinez, and Brooke A. Brewer.