On March 23, 1995, my husband of seven years, Jeff, was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking and robbery in front of our St. Louis home. I was in the car when it happened, and so were our two kids, who were just five and two at the time. We had just returned from running a few errands as a family.
After such unexpected and unimaginable heartbreak, I doubt anyone would’ve faulted us for packing up and leaving St. Louis. But we never ran away. Instead, motivated in part by our own personal tragedy, I later ran for political office and today, I have the distinct honor of serving as the first woman Mayor of St. Louis, where combating gun violence is one of my highest priorities.
Every day, we work to keep guns out of the wrong hands, to hold violent offenders accountable, and to support gun violence victims and their families to the fullest extent possible.
I rise this year to share my own story of loss and survival to honor the courage and bravery of all my fellow gun violence survivors, and to remind them they’re not alone in this fight we must all win together.