Bronx Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson’s Powerful Remarks Saturday Morning At The National Action Network

On Saturday morning at the National Action Network on 145th Street in Harlem, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson spoke to the crowd in a passionate speech about how the tragic death of 43 year old Eric Garner has affected her and the need to find ways to uplift to carry on.

vanessagibsonnatlaction“I’m so full of emotions today.  I’m a new Councilmember… I represent the 16th district in the Bronx and I am also the chair on the comittee on Public Safety.  So, my role is a big one.

But one thing I always know, I trust in God, God has never left me.   And through the grace of God, we will get through these unspeakable tragedies.

Too often we find ourselves coming together collectively mourning the loss of our brothers and sisters that are dying at the hands of brutality and it is such a sad state of affairs.

I was in Staten Island all day yesterday with the family, with the community in Staten Island,and they are hurt, frustrated and angry, because yet again, another brother has been called home, and we know choke holds are illegal, so we ask ourselves Why? Why did this have to happen to a brother? And Eric Garner, as easily as he may have lived in Staten Island, could have lived in the Bronx, could have been my father, my brother, my uncle, nd so I take this personal.

vanessagibsonnatlaction2 I take this personal, because this can happen to any of us, and so I stand with all my colleagues in the City Council, with our incredible Councilwoman Debi Rose on Staten Island, I will be joining her this afternoon with the family,  I stand with Rev. Sharpton in making sure that this investigation is thorough.  We will not rest until we get our questions answered because no matter what we do going forward, today, tomorrow and the days beyond, nothing will bring Mr. Garner back.  But, we must remain firm and not give up because we will have justice for all of God’s people.

This is a tragedy, this could have been prevented…this could have been prevented, so we know that this family will never be the same and we must act like this is our family.  We have to lift them up in prayer.  We have to ask God to guide them, to comfort them, with all the healing in the world, because now they have to mourn the loss of their loved one.  Children have no father. A wife has no husband.  A mother has no son.  And that’s real.

I stand her committed and I know that in the next couple of weeks, working with the City Council, we will have a hearing on public safety in the City Council to find out what we can do to change some of our policy.  While that investigation is going on, we  must make sure that our questions are answered for this family and all the other families that have lost loved ones to choke holds.  I want to thank you family for all the work that you do.

When the media is gone, when we go back to our normal lives, there are families that are broken and ripped apart and we must continue to keep them in prayer, because we know that at the end of the day, this is about our community and our people and the fabric of our communities.

And we must remain united.  We cannot react, we cannot react in a negative way, we must take this energy, this emotion, and turn it into action.  And so I want to thank you and ask you for your prayers.

It’s not easy being a member of the City Council at this time.   It’s not easy chairing a comittee like Public Safety, but I walk with God everyday and my faith is strong and he won’t take me where his grace won’t sustain me.  [clapping]  So I want to thank you to the National Actyion Network and to Reverend Sharpton, someone who I look up to an incredible amount, thank you for helping to educate me as a new member of this City Council during this time.

May God continue to bless us and keep us and and may we stand tall for justice and equality for all God’s people.   Power to the people.  Thank you so much.”

One can watch video of the remarks here at the hour and eight minute mark.

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