DNC roundtable puts spotlight on gun violence, with homicides up 90% in Milwaukee

A variety of virtual roundtables are being held throughout the Democratic National Convention, including one on Wednesday, Aug 19 that put the spotlight on Milwaukee's response to gun violence.

Speakers from across the country shared ideas on ending gun violence.

Reggie Moore

"I wish we were all in Milwaukee," said Reggie Moore with the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. "I'm so excited to be with such a powerhouse group of individuals."

In a virtual DNC roundtable, Moore and others brainstormed strides to end gun violence -- considered by some to be a public health crisis.

"Cities like Milwaukee have been severely impacted," Moore said. "This is an issue that is extremely concerning, and there are a lot of different ideas and theories. We're glad that this important conversation is happening as part of the DNC."

Efforts have led to a steady decline in gun violence. However, Moore attributes a spike in shootings this year to the COVID-19 pandemic -- a trend, unfortunately, that is not unique to Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission violence dashboards

The virtual nature of the DNC is not quite what the Moore and other city leaders were hoping for -- eager to bring visitors not only downtown but into the neighborhoods, to highlight some of the good work being done in Milwaukee. Still, officials said the convention is an incredible opportunity for the city. 

"What keeps me motivated is actually seeing the leadership in our community at the grassroots level," said Moore. "There's a lot of beauty and great things about Milwaukee that I'm glad are going to continue to be highlighted even virtually."

The city is now reporting a 90% increase in homicides this July compared to July 2019 -- many of which were gun-related.

The city also debuted a virtual dashboard that keeps track of the recent rise in violence.