Milwaukee, Wisconsin — January 30, 2020 – Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s campaign today is releasing a new digital ad featuring Khary Penebaker, a survivor of gun violence in Wisconsin.
The digital ad is part of a series of videos featuring gun violence survivors from twelve states to show the impact gun violence has had on communities across the country. On Thursday, the Bloomberg campaign released “George,” the ad that will air during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, February 2. The ad features Calandrian Simpson Kemp, a mother from Texas who lost her son, George Kemp Jr., to gun violence and is an active member of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
Penebaker lost his mother Joyce to suicide in 1979 — she was only 27 years old. The experience moved Penebaker to volunteer as a spokesperson for various gun violence prevention organizations including Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, where he is currently a Wisconsin Survivor Fellow. He also serves on the board of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE).
“Mike Bloomberg had the vision to form a movement around the issue of gun violence prevention,” Khary Penebaker says in the ad. “And then he had the foresight to say we can turn this issue into one that people vote for — you’re voting to prevent stories like mine. I’m glad we have a person like Mike Bloomberg who is choosing to put an end to this.”
Watch the video here.
More than 36,000 people are killed with guns in an average year, including over 22,000 suicides. Further, America’s gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than other high-income countries. Despite these facts, Donald Trump has remained a steadfast friend to the National Rifle Association. Trump expanded access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to groups, like those who may be suicidal, previously prohibited from ownership.
Mike has proposed a gun safety policy that treats the gun violence crisis like a true national emergency: creating an effective background checks system, keeping guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, protecting young people in schools and Americans in their homes, tackling daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, and confronting the gun industry head-on.
Khary Pennebaker is a Wisconsin-based gun violence prevention and DNC Representative who endorsed Mike Bloomberg earlier this month, praising his progressive track record and agenda on common-sense gun safety laws.
See below for additional background on Bloomberg’s record:
Mike Bloomberg’s record of fighting to prevent gun violence
- In 2006, Mike founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. It grew to a coalition of over 1,000 mayors across the country.
- In 2013, Mike merged Mayors Against Illegal Guns with the grassroots group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown has helped to defeat dozens of gun lobby-backed bills each year in states. In 2018 alone, this included “permitless carry” bills in 17 states that would allow concealed carry with no permit whatsoever, bills that would allow guns in K-12 schools in 18 states, and bills that would require colleges and universities to allow guns on campus in 16 states. For more detail on Everytown and Moms’ victories, see a full timeline here.
- 12 states have passed or expanded background checks since 2013, with MAIG/Everytown playing a critical role in victories in CO, WA, OR, NV, NM, NJ, CA, and VT.
- 29 states and DC have passed a total of 51 domestic violence laws since 2013, including states like AL, IN, LA, KS, ND, SC, and UT.
- 15 states and DC have enacted red flag laws since Newtown, and Everytown was instrumental in passing each one.
- In 2018, Everytown spent $30 million on targeted contributions, independent expenditures, and voter mobilization. In 110 Everytown-supported races that year, the vast majority of candidates won. Everytown was the largest outside spender in the 2019 Virginia legislative elections, spending $2.5 million to help flip both houses of the General Assembly and deliver a gun sense majority to the NRA’s home state.
- Mike spent $110 million to elect candidates strong on gun safety in the 2018 midterm elections, including helping to elect 21 of 24 candidates backed in Congressional swing districts, which was crucial to Democrats retaking the House.
- As Mayor of New York City, Mike took on gun dealers and gun show vendors across the country that were feeding the criminal market. During Mike’s time as mayor, firearm deaths decreased by 46% and the firearm death rate was less than a third the rate in the rest of the country.
- As mayor, Mike tackled gun violence by taking on the gun industry and cracking down on illegal gun sales. He filed federal lawsuits against 27 gun dealers in five states when guns they sold showed up on New York City streets—and the city’s undercover operations revealed they were not complying with federal law. The dealers settled with the city or had settlement terms imposed on them and agreed to clean up their operations.
- The number of crime guns recovered in NYC from the five states where the City sued gun dealers dropped by 18% in the years after the suits were settled. The share of targeted dealers’ crime guns recovered in New York City declined by 75%.
- The city’s undercover stings recovered 6,043 guns between 2004 and 2013 and also exposed that sellers at gun shows in multiple states were breaking federal laws.
- Under Mike’s administration, NYC was an early adopter of creative interventions, such as Cure Violence, which engaged the members of the community directly impacted by a violent event. These interventions reduced retaliatory gun violence in communities traumatized by violent episodes by as much as 63%.