Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend at least $50 million this year to combat gun violence in the United States through a new lobbying group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
At its heart, Everytown will encompass two other groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns — founded by Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino; and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of mothers that was founded the day after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting on Dec. 14, 2012.
Bloomberg said in a New York Times article published Tuesday evening that he plans to spend the $50 million – at least – through Everytown’s advocacy work as well as “personal expenditures.”
“I put $50 million this year, last year into coal, $53 million into oceans,” he told the Times about the causes he supports. “Certainly a number like that, $50 million. Let’s see what happens.”
The group will have kick-off events in several cities across the country on Wednesday to spread the word and launch the “Gun Sense Voter” campaign that aims to mobilize 1 million voters to support officials and laws that tout gun safety.
Bloomberg noted that his commitment to this cause will not only be a financial one, but he is also ready to put in the time.
“You’ve got to work at it piece by piece,” he told the Times. “One mom and another mom. You’ve got to wear them down until they finally say, ‘Enough.’”
First published April 15 2014, 7:26 PM
Hasani Gittens is a Senior Staff Writer at NBCNews.com. Gittens, a WNBC veteran, joined NBCNews.com in January 2013. Before that he worked at The Daily â€” News Corp's short-lived "iPad newspaper" â€” where he spent two years also as a news editor.
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Prior to that, he worked at WNBC as the managing editor of the station's website, and even longer ago he spent eight years as a reporter and eventually an editor for the New York Post.
Gittens lives in Queens, New York.