Created: August 04, 2020 10:52 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After 18-year-old basketball star JB White was shot and killed over the weekend, Nicole Chavez felt a familiar pain.
Chavez, while she did not know JB personally, lost her son Jaydon Chavez-Silver back in June 2015 after he was shot at a house party.
A bullet struck Jaydon, ending his 17 years of life and beginning Nicole’s lifelong journey to make sure no other mother has to deal with the grief of losing a child to gun violence.
Nicole’s journey has been met with many hurdles so far.
“I've been saying it for five years. Something has to change. People may be sick of me saying the same things over and over, but something has to change,” she said.
Nicole has taken her ideas for change to the state legislature year after year. She has lobbied for stiffer prison penalties, gun control measures and funding for youth programs. Her ideas have been largely shut down and ignored by lawmakers.
“How many more lives have to be lost before we start paying attention?” Nicole said/
In many ways, New Mexico hasn’t changed much since 2015 as more teens continue to kill and be killed.
“Enough is enough. November is around the corner. I get it. A lot of people are paying attention to the presidential election, but pay attention to our state where you live, where your kids are going to grow up, where your grandkids are going to grow up, where you need to walk outside and start your car in the morning heading out to the gym,” she said.
“If you are a lawmaker who has been in office for two, four, 10 years, 20 years and you are not willing to talk about crime because it's not your thing or your avenue, or you don't like to work with the people on the other side of the fence then you shouldn't be there anymore,” she added.
Wondering about whether another senseless death could have been prevented if lawmakers had proposed new laws doesn’t keep Nicole from fighting for a better future.
“I have grown in strength and faith in knowing that if can make a change in Jaydon's name so that fewer parents are standing here, that something good has become of it. That's why I keep fighting for change,” Nicole said.
Nicole is calling on state lawmakers to get serious about violent crime in our state. She wants state leaders to put party politics aside and make New Mexico safer for our kids.
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