News | 2016

June 29, 2016

Gallego, advocates renew calls for stricter gun-control measures

By Keshia Butts, Cronkite News

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WASHINGTON – Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, joined Arizona gun-control advocates on a conference call Wednesday to again call for stricter gun laws in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

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And in the House, angry Democrats stopped all business with a 26-hour sit-in in an attempt to force a vote on a “no fly, no buy” bill, similar to the bipartisan Senate proposal, that would ban people on the no-fly list from buying a gun.

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… Jennifer Longdon, the president of Arizonans For Gun Safety, said on Wednesday’s conference call that the sit-in was “not a publicity stunt, it was moral imperative.”

“It’s time for action and I call upon our elected leaders to reflect the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe in sensible reforms,” said Longdon, who was paralyzed in a shooting.


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January 10, 2016

Phoenix passes nation’s strongest disability protections


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Mayor Greg Stanton and leaders in the Phoenix disability community lauded improvements to the Ground Transportation Policy for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport approved Tuesday night.

The Phoenix City Council approved the new policy on a 5-4 vote, which includes the nation’s strongest requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act for ground transportation at the airport.

City staff will now draft ordinance language, which the Council is expected to pass in May before the policy change will take effect.

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“Accessibility is critical for everyone. I logged over 75,000 air miles in the last year alone, and people with disabilities represent more than $17 billion in travel and entertainment, and we need all of that here in Phoenix. We just had a disability conference in January where we used 600 room nights at the Sheraton downtown, and it went so well that we’ve been asked to host it again. This ground transportation policy can only be good for the entire community, and especially for people with disabilities,” said Jennifer Longdon, former chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues and member of the State Independent Living Council of Arizona.

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January 10, 2016

The Faces of American Gun Violence

By Daniel Dale, The Toronto Sun Star

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WASHINGTON—Just before Barack Obama got choked up on national television, Jennifer Longdon got choked up in front of him.

She was sitting in the Green Room of the White House. Obama walked in. Almost everybody rose.

Longdon is an outspoken and able gun control activist. She will remind you that she is by no means “confined to” her wheelchair. But she can’t stand. The president of the United States was walking toward her, minutes from taking his boldest leap in support of her life’s work, and that is what was on her mind.


“I shook his hand, and I said, ‘Mr. President, I’m so sad that I cannot honour you by standing up,’ ” she said, emotional again, from her home in Arizona. “Because that’s all I could think of in that moment. My God, the president’s in the room and I cannot stand up.”

Obama held her hand and hugged her tight.

Longdon, 55, has been paralyzed from the midchest down since 2004. She and her then fiancé, a taekwondo champion, were driving to a Mexican restaurant when they were side-swiped. Someone inside the red truck then shot them both. They never found out who or why.

On Tuesday morning, stationed behind Obama’s right shoulder as he spoke and cried, Longdon was surrounded by people who lost loved ones in mass shootings known worldwide: Newtown, Charleston, Tucson, Virginia Tech.

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January 5, 2016

The gun violence victims who attended President Obama’s speech, in 1 graphic

By Philip Bump, Washington Post


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