violence prevention and getting resources to communities is a top-of-mind issue for US teens and young adults. In an open letter the youth voting advocacy group NextGen America sent Joe Biden ahead of this week’s State of the Union address, the young people implored him and Congress to address lax state gun laws and racial disparities among homicide victims and gunshot wound survivors. A majority of Gen Z is more worried about guns than the climate crisis, according to a recent survey by Project Unloaded, while 70% of young voters said that US gun control laws should be stricter, according to a 2018 Harvard Institute of Politics poll.
“Politicians should be more involved in the community,” said Greg Novelo, a 20-year-old resident of Richmond, California, a small city north of San Francisco. “There’s no progress to show that they’re helping the community … they need activities, programs, parks you can go to that are safe.”
The Guardian spoke with Novelo and several other young Latino and Black Californians about what they want to see older generations do to prevent gun violence and to help youth navigate the aftermath of shootings.