Durham Mayor Elaine O'Neal to give first State of the City address Monday

18 April 2022

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal will give her first State of the City address Monday evening.

O’Neal’s speech is sure to be–at least in part–about gun violence in the Bull City.

In the past year, gun crime has increased drastically. Deadly shootings so far in 2022 have nearly reached the combined total of the previous two years.

Last week, O’Neal told ABC11 that reducing gun violence was a top priority but that no definitive plan was in place to tackle the problem.

“I am not God — I can’t stop that. But what I can do as a mayor is to do what I am doing and that is do things differently because of my background. And also to make sure that we take a look at systemic causes in a different way, and we hope to be able to provide and help to provide a quality of life for folk so they can make some different decisions,” O’Neal said last week.

WATCH: Durham mayor says she won’t talk to reporters about gun violence

She told us then that she was deeply concerned about the spike in gun violence, but she said she had not spoken with Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews about the topic.

O’Neal has made time over the last few months to meet with reformers seeking innovative ways to reduce violence in the communities. O’Neal said a lack of affordable housing and good-paying jobs were playing a significant role in Durham’s crime rate.

O’Neal will address those issues and more tonight at 7 during the State of the City.

RELATED: Surveys in Durham found 66% of residents say gun violence is their greatest concern

WATCH: Extended interview with Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal

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