It's Finally Happening

After six months of researching, brainstorming, and meetings, we are ready to announce our three strategic priorities for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020! The stats we’ve shared in the last week are not headed in the right direction and it’s time for us to act. Please stay plugged into Whitney/Strong via social media to follow along.

We have been very purposeful in our selections. As a team of volunteers, we forced ourselves to narrow in on three highly impactful solutions that are, of course, supported by the majority.

Now, we won’t get into solutions today, but I would like to touch on our guiding principles. While our priorities and solutions may change from year to year, these five principles will remain our stagnant North Star.

Partnership: Bipartisan action is the only path to real change.

What does this mean to me? We need both sides of the aisle to effect change.

Incremental Wins: With stalemates all too common, we will not let perfect prevent good.

What does this mean to me? No one solution will solve the problem. Let’s chip away at this day-by-day, year-by-year, recognizing the value of small and smart wins.

Equality: All lives lost to gun violence are valuable.

What does this mean to me? We need to care about all communities impacted by gun violence, not just a subset.

Compassion: We will shine a light on the deficiencies of our mental health infrastructure and meet mental illness with kindness.

What does this mean to me? Gun violence is not just a mental health issue. But when mental illness does lead to gun violence, we must seek out solutions to support this community and not stigmatize it.

Information: Data sources from thorough and unbiased research will guide our decisions.

What does this mean to me? I’m a banker. I don’t get behind projects unless the numbers make sense. There is no reason to change my behavior now.

All of this boils down to the Whitney/Strong mission: Realize fewer lives lost to gun violence by advocating for and executing responsible gun ownership.

What does this mean to me? Whitney/Strong doesn’t want guns eradicated from the U.S. However, owners of firearms (many of us on the board included) must be expected to meet certain responsibility thresholds. In the same way we expect our 16 year-olds to reach certain responsibility thresholds prior to driving independently, we must expect the same for firearm owners.

I look forward to sharing more in coming weeks!