California Congresswoman Maxine Waters will reportedly be the keynote speaker at a community forum on gun violence April 21.
The event, organized by former councilman and mayoral candidate Zack Reed, will be the fourth such forum in five years.
On council, Reed had been one of the most vocal representatives calling for solutions and resources to help stem the tide of gun violence. On the mayoral campaign trail in 2017, his solution was hiring a great deal more community-oriented police officers.
This year, he has managed to attract a high-profile speaker for the event, which will discuss solutions to urban violence. When Reed was asked if he supported policies currently being discussed nationally — things like arming teachers or a statewide assault weapons ban — he said that those were aimed primarily at the school shootings issue. He expressed condolences for the Parkland tragedy, but said urban violence is a different animal, with victims generally "of a different complexion."
The daylong April 21st forum will be held at John Adams High School and will feature panel discussions and breakout sessions. Reed said Brandon Chrostowski has signed on as a speaker and that he has received support from the Cleveland Clinic, UH and MetroHealth, among other local sponsors.
Though Reed no longer holds elected office, he appears to be trying to maintain a public profile for a presumed run in the future. He was coy about his intentions, though he has mentioned in the past that he'd "be back" in 2021, presumably in reference to the Cleveland mayoral race. He was insistent that he still cares passionately about reducing gun violence in Cleveland and said he was thrilled to be joined by Congresswoman Waters, whom President Trump recently criticized as a "low-IQ individual."
"She's the most intelligent person in Congress," Reed said. "She and Marcia Fudge."