The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is a 501(c)(4) organization that was founded in 1974. We seek to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.
Our organizational structure is unique among national gun violence prevention organizations. CSGV is composed of 47 national organizations working to reduce gun violence. Our coalition members include religious organizations, child welfare advocates, public health professionals, and social justice organizations. This diversity of member organizations allows us to reach a wide variety of grassroots constituencies who share our vision of non-violence.
For too long, progress on life-saving gun reforms has been stalemated by legislative gridlock. Our politicians, intimidated by the political power of the National Rifle Association, have refused to act in the wake of tragedy after tragedy. CSGV has a three-part strategy to break this gridlock:
1) We are taking an aggressive approach with political advocacy. Our message to elected officials is simple: “The era of no accountability is over. If you do the NRA’s bidding and put our loved ones in the line of fire, we will educate your constituents about your record.” This strategy involves the use of social media campaigns and hard-hitting TV, radio and print ads.
2) We are building personal relationships with legislators and challenging them to become dedicated, long-term advocates for sensible gun laws. The victims and survivors of gun violence on our staff are the leaders in this lobbying effort. We are also looking to facilitate the advocacy of state/local activists whenever and wherever we can.
3) We are the first gun violence prevention group to talk about the issue in terms of democratic values, and to use the term “insurrectionism” to describe the NRA’s treasonous interpretation of the Second Amendment. By exposing the hypocrisy of the NRA’s “freedom” message, we have reframed the debate and put them on the defensive.
CSGV’s guiding principle is simple. We believe that all Americans have a right to live in communities free from gun violence.
The CSGV Staff
The CSGV Board of Directors
Joel Kanter, CSGV Board Chair
Joel Kanter has been a health care venture capital investor for the past 30 years, investing in a wide array of device, life sciences, services, and consumer product companies like Plax Mouthwash, SoniCare toothbrushes, and the Clarisonic facial cleanser. In that capacity, he serves on a number of private and public company boards. He has been involved in the gun violence prevention movement primarily because of the time he spent on Capitol Hill working for then-Congressman Abner J. Mikva (D-Ill.), a champion of firearm regulation. Joel is also a former Board Chair and Trustee Emeritus at the Langley School in McLean, Virginia; a former Trustee of the Georgetown Day School; and a member of the Executive Committee of the Kennedy Center's National Committee for the Performing Arts.
Beth York is an attorney in McLean, Virginia who practices in the areas of estate and tax planning and trust administration. Prior to entering private practice, she was an attorney in the Division of Market Regulation at the Securities and Exchange Commission. She received her B.A. from Connecticut College in New London and her J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University. Having come of age during the 1960s, she was deeply affected by the assassinations that took place during those years. She is saddened by the fact that killings in schools and other public places have not resulted in more effective gun regulation. Now more than ever, is the right time to work harder for changes in the law and Beth is grateful to have the opportunity to support this cause.
Bob Cheek is an attorney with his own practice, the Law Offices of Robert C Cheek. He serves as Chair of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. Bob formerly served as a board member of NARAL Pro Choice America and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. He serves on the CSGV board because he believes we must all redouble our efforts in favor of responsible gun violence prevention legislation to ensure our children are free and safe from gun violence.
Bob Guberman’s professional career spans more than 35 years working in the global electric utility industry. His primary focus has been managing the design and implementation of complex computer systems to support power and competitive electricity market operations. He has previously held senior utility practice leadership positions at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporations, EDS Corporation, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM Corporation and was a co-founder and senior executive of ECC, Inc./KEMA Consulting. Presently Mr. Guberman, as President of SMCS, LLC, provides independent consulting services to the electric utility sector on the incorporation of “smart grid” technologies into the power network. He holds a BSEE degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a life member of the IEEE.
Carol Johnson is the President of Cobrin, Inc., a commercial interior design firm. She is a graduate of Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Mount Vernon School of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She joined the CSGV board because she believes the senseless loss of life is the ultimate tragedy, and that in this great country of ours, no special interest group like the NRA should wield such power as to control the moral judgement of our elected officials.
Chuck Work is an attorney at McDermott, Will and Emery. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney, a former Deputy Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and President of the District of Columbia Bar. As a former prosecutor he has seen too many victims of gun violence and believes that Congress and other legislative bodies can do more to prevent it.
David Beier, JD is a Managing Director with Bay City Capital, and has been with the firm since 2013. David served as a senior officer for nearly a decade in each of the two largest biotechnology firms, Genentech and Amgen. Most recently, Mr. Beier was a member of the senior management team at Amgen. As Senior Vice President, he had responsibility for global government affairs, as well as corporate communications, and philanthropy. During his Amgen tenure he also helped create and supervised the firm's coverage, reimbursement, access, pricing, and healthcare economics activities globally. Earlier in his career, he was Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President in the Clinton Administration. Mr. Beier has been a partner in a large international law firm as well as Counsel to the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. He is admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia.
Iris Krasnow is the mother of four sons, a university professor, an author of relationship books, and an activist who stands for anything that promotes the health of children and families. Working toward safer gun laws is a crucial component of that purpose and mission.
Jeff Menick is a native of Washington, D.C. He and his mother were shot and wounded during an attempted robbery of his family's grocery store in 1969. Trained as a lawyer, he practiced law in the District of Columbia for a few years, but became an Investment Advisor in 1981. The Sandy Hook Tragedy motivated Jeff to join the CSGV board.
Jerry Clark graduated from Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, where he first became interested in gun violence prevention. He served in the Office of the Attorney General under Eliot Richardson and as Executive Director of the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds. Once retired, he served for 13 years on the board of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, including 4 years as Co-Chair. He currently serves as Chair of the D.C. Statehood Coalition and Political Director of D.C. for Democracy.
Kimberly Reed is an international business lawyer and economic development consultant. Formerly with Hogan Lovells (Moscow, Warsaw and D.C. offices) and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, she now operates her own law firm and consulting company. She is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She has served on the CSGV Board for more than 20 years in order to help protect people from those who believe that their right to a gun trumps others' right to live peacefully and without fear.
Kitty Lansdale is the President of Lansdale & Associates. After graduating from Smith College, Kitty began her career overseas as a newspaper reporter for The Australian. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. she worked for ABC News and eventually joined a small public relations firm that focused primarily on large high-profile events. Kitty eventually formed her own firm in 1983. She is proud to serve on the CSGV board because she believes it is the most effective, innovative, courageous and committed organization in the movement to bring about sensible gun laws.
D. Randall (“Randy”) Benn is an attorney, Presbyterian Elder and social activist. Trained as an environmental lawyer, he served at the Environmental Protection Agency and has been a Partner in two of the world’s largest law firms. He is committed to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's vision of a society without gun violence that is more just, safe and free.
Rev. Jim Atwood
Jim Atwood was the Pastor of the Wallace Presbyterian Church, Wallace, North Carolina for five years before he and his wife, Roxana, went to Japan as missionaries with the United Church of Christ. After nine years, they returned to the States where Jim was called to be the Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Virginia. In 1984, he became Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian in Arlington from which he retired in 1999. He was moved to join the CSGV board after a charter member of Grace Church was shot and killed by a robber with a Saturday Night Special. He is also a member of the National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington.