Residents of Petworth and Brightwood, two rapidly growing sections of the District, are concerned about what they say has been an epidemic of gun violence in recent months.
Some worry it's be because they've been without a representative on the D.C. Council since former Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser was elected mayor in November.
At a political forum Tuesday night, public safety was mentioned as a top priority by the candidates seeking Bowser's former seat in an April 28 special election.
Petworth and Brightwood residents told News4 they are anxious for a well-thought-out plan that gets to the root issue of the crimes following at least 17 shootings, including several in daylight, since December.
Hundreds of Ward 4 residents have signed a Care2 petition asking D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to produce an action plan that would not only combat the outbreak of gun crime in the Petworth and Brightwood areas, but work at fixing the larger social and economic problems that contribute to it.
The letter accompanying the petition references the 17 shootings, including one in which a child was injured and three murders.
Drew Schneider of the Petworth News blog said some do feel being without a sitting council member may be contributing to the problem.
“We do have a Ward 4 liaison, Khalil Thompson, who’s been very responsive and he’s at all of these meetings, but people don’t all know that,” he said. “They don’t know who he is … all they know is they don’t have a council person.”