Alex Navarro was a new mom to a six-month-old baby when the Sandy Hook mass shooting happened in 2012. At the time, she was living in Europe and was “increasingly frustrated with daily news of gun violence coming out of the states.” While she wasn’t living in the country at the time, she knew her family would one day move back, and she wanted to be a part of positive change.
“Fearing for my life because of gun violence just wasn’t an issue for me living outside of the states, even though there are gun owners in the Netherlands,” Alex shared. “It was important for me to get involved and help raise awareness, even though I was living abroad, because I love my country and care for the safety of my fellow Americans.
Alex moved back to the United States in 2016 and has shifted from virtual actions while living abroad to getting involved with Moms Demand Action in her local community. Now, as a statewide city gun violence prevention lead in the California chapter of Moms Demand Action, Alex develops relationships with community partners who are reducing violence in the areas that are most impacted by gun violence.
One of the victories she is most proud of during her time with Moms Demand Action is her work on the campaign to get Governor Newsom to fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program (CalVIP). Thanks to the advocacy and creative efforts of volunteers like Alex, Governor Newsom agreed to allocate $200 million for violence intervention programs in 2021. “I was so proud of our chapter’s efforts that I was overcome with emotion,” Alex expressed.
“As Californians, we work hard to come up with bold and creative ideas to keep that tradition going in gun violence prevention,” she explained. “After our historic CalVIP win of $200 million dollars, it was so great to see other states invest millions of dollars in their own violence intervention and prevention programs.”
That huge local victory in California, paired with the recent win in Congress with the passing of the first major gun safety law in nearly 26 years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Alex is proud of the work of Moms Demand Action volunteers. Since the Uvalde mass shooting in May 2022, she has seen a shift in the work—people who were afraid to get involved have stepped up, joining volunteers like her who have been involved in this advocacy for years.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a huge victory accomplished because of the foundational work volunteers like Alex have dedicated over the years—but there’s still more to be done to end gun violence in America.
“I want my kids to know that I didn’t sit on the sidelines when I saw injustices in our society or wait until gun violence reached our household to get involved. The truth is, my kids are now part of the lockdown generation and gun violence has already reached our household in a psychological way,” Alex expressed. “When I got involved, my kids were just babies, and now they take actions with me because they know how important it is to stand up and fight back against this monster of an issue we’re facing. I want my girls to see how working together with everyone was crucial in creating change.”