Thank you everyone for the very warm welcome.
You know, I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to support the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition and to be a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week for several years.
But, this time, it’s extra special, because it’s the first time that I am lending my support as Mayor of the greatest city—the City of West Palm Beach!
Thank you, Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition, for putting together this event year after year—and an extra special thanks to Annette Andre and Coleen LaCosta.
It’s always great to see our friends and partners at the federal, state and county levels:
- Representative Lois Frankel;
- State Attorney Dave Aronberg;
- Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Dave Kerner.
A special “shoutout” to the law enforcement in the room, including West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney. Thank you, law enforcement, for everything that you do to keep us safe and for your work in support of crime victims.
And to the victims’ advocates in the room as well as the agencies that make up the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition--- Wow!!!
For what you have done and what you continue to do to support someone, to believe or validate someone, to help them on their path to healing, or to ensure their needs are met—whether in the areas of mental health support, emotional support, physical support, or financial support, please accept my heartfelt thanks.
Whether you are a victim of a crime or you have lost a loved one to a crime, it affects us all.
I remember receiving a phone call at 3:00 a.m. one morning that no one ever wants to receive. I got the call.
The person on the other end said these words: “Your mother has been shot, but she’s OK.”
Now, most of you saw her the other night at my swearing-in, and Mom is just fine. We are so grateful that she is still with us. But, I will never forget the shock I felt hearing those words.
Becoming the victim of violence or even being the relative of a victim, it sticks with you all the days of your life.
There are millions of cases of injustice and, regretfully, many of them are occurring right here in our own backyard.
Our hearts go out to victims. Please know, we are with you every step of the way. Victims should always be believed and supported, and we must continue to work to ensure that they know they have rights!
We all have to speak up!
Now, I touched upon the many agency members who make up the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition. For our community to truly have an effective response to crime and address the needs of victims, these partnerships are key.
West Palm Beach is proud to be your partner!!!
And, because of the great partnerships that exist in our community, I am proud to say that never before have crime victims’ services been so inclusive or accessible in our community. I thank each and every one of you here today for that, as well as those who have paved the way!
So today, as we recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, let’s all have an eye out for the future, as we work together to create hope for all victims and their families.