In light of the recent fatal shooting of an innocent 7-year-old girl in North Austin, I write today not as a state representative, but as Austin resident LaShawn Ford. That’s because there is no law, policy or government intervention that is going to stop people from killing their neighbors. If we take away the guns, they will use a knife. If we take away the knives, they will use a club. Only by taking away the negativity and hate can we truly start to make progress. While government can help make our neighborhoods better, it is ultimately up to us to retake our own streets and protect our own children from the downward spiral of negativity and violence. If we can demand our leaders do something about the violence, then we should also demand our neighbors do something to stop the violence before it starts. I stand ready to help in any way I can, but will always remind people that real change never happens because a law ordered us to do it.

La Shawn K. Ford (8th Dist. state rep)
Community Resident