Kristen McDonald Rivet Responds to In-District Gun Violence 

June 10, 2022— While communities across the country gather and grieve in the wake of one shooting after another, after another, I want to make sure our community knows what’s been happening in our own region.

We haven’t yet had the kind of event that surges national outrage and media, but our gun violence is no less real, brutal or tragic.  This past week, Saginaw lost their favorite baker and that young women’s premature baby now has no mother.  An infant, birthed as a survivor of gun violence, from a mother killed by it.  That incident also killed two young men.  Two days before that, over 100 bullets were fired off in the Old Town business district.  And just yesterday, separate shootings killed two and injured another on Saginaw’s West Side.

Saginaw pastors, civic leaders, community activists and law enforcement have done tireless, emotionally heavy work for decades.  In between funerals and hospital visits, they’re building community and relationships; they’re creating hope and paths out of violence.  In my experience, Saginaw’s community organizing and programs are the best in the state. 

Now I want to ask…  Where has our state senate leadership been while community members cycle between their grief and prevention efforts?  And which of our region’s candidates for state senate are supporting this valuable work?

It’s been too long since Saginaw had the care, commitment or leadership it deserves in our state senate.  I want to change that.  Supporting Saginaw in reducing gun violence and violent crime is imperative.  Our region can’t thrive without Saginaw thriving. 

Now, just as it would be wrong to blame Saginaw for its violence, it’s wrong to view this as Saginaw’s problem or a problem only happening in that city.  When gun violence is the leading cause of death for America’s youth age 0-19, it should get every community’s attention and response.  And let’s recognize that firearms of any kind in the wrong hands, or illegally obtained, endangers both our community members and those in uniform trying to keep us safe.

We need rationale, practical leaders who will finally do what’s right.  No more downplaying or deflecting.  We need leaders who will vote to strengthen job prospects, education, and neighborhoods in every corner of our region.  And leaders who will back measures that protect our Second Amendment rights, honor responsible gun ownership, and ensure that the evil, sick, and despondent don’t have irresponsibly easy access to firearms.

Enough is enough.

Kristen McDonald Rivet, Democratic Candidate for State Senate District 35, is an executive leader and policy strategist. In addition to providing strategic leadership to two non-profits focused on improving health and economic outcomes, McDonald Rivet currently serves as a City Commissioner for Bay City. She was President/ CEO of the network of Greater Midland Community Centers from mid 2016 – early 2021. McDonald Rivet was also the lead architect of Michigan’s birth to five system of care (Great Start) and its parent organization, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC). These initiatives have improved the lives of millions of Michiganders.