Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — About a hundred people from the Peoria community gathered to honor and remember the lives lost in the Uvalde, Texas shooting.

Held at the Gateway building on the riverfront, speakers talked about gun violence, with a call to action for the local city officials.

“I’m sick of protests, and rallies, and marches. I want solutions,” said Kristen Meierkord, President of the ACLU Peoria Chapter.

After 21 people were killed in a Uvalde, Texas school, people in Peoria held a vigil for the victims.

“We have to create pathways out or we’ll continue to see more of the same and we’re only doing what we’ve always done. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and here we are,” said the Organizer of the vigil, Chris Schaffner.

Multiple speakers at the vigil talked about their experience with gun violence.

A Northern Illinois University graduate who experienced a mass shooting at her college 14 years ago, a ten-year-old Peoria Public School student who endured an active shooter drill right after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, and one woman recited the names of many youths killed in Peoria.

“A lot of times it’s just an echo chamber at city hall, and the people who are most directly impacted by the gun violence don’t have a voice and are not listened to, and action isn’t taken on their behalf, so part of our job is to organize those voices and to give them power,” said Schaffner.

With 34 victims of gun violence in Peoria in 2021, these community members think it’s time to stand up and make a change.

“Our youth are being killed here, it may not be in a school shooting, but they’re still our kids,” said Meierkord.

During the vigil, multiple lives were lost from gun violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Schaffner addressed the shooting and said he hopes the town can band together to fight gun violence.

Many of the people who attended the vigil will be at the Peoria City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 7. Their goal is to have the council reconsider passing an assessment from an organization called Cure Violence.

Costing $25,000 of American Rescue Plan money, the organization would see if Peoria is the right place to focus on lowering criminal activity. The council voted down the assessment at the May 24 meeting.