ST. LOUIS Mo.—They call it a public health crisis and are demanding urgent action. African-American leaders in St. Louis City are talking about gun violence.

They started sharing their safety plan at a news conference downtown in the health department and municipal court building this morning. The chair of the group, 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd, wants what she calls “game-changing” policies to reduce gun violence.

Boyd says without action now, we risk losing a generation of children. Boyd admits her group is short on specific proposals. But she says the caucus wants to have a series of meetings with local, state, and federal leaders who represent the city.

In those meetings, the caucus hopes to develop strategies to combat gun violence and address mental health and trauma in the city. They want to secure additional funds to reduce gun violence through working with multiple government agencies. Plus, plans to support neighborhood groups that are trying to keep kids safe and de-escalate violent environments.

Caucus leaders specifically referenced the school shooting in October at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in south city. A graduate from CVPA opened fire inside the school, killing a student and a teacher and wounding several others before police shot and killed him.

The caucus says those who commit gun violence are mostly young men who need parental support. The CVPA shooter, a 19-year-old male, left a handwritten note speaking about a troubled upbringing on many fronts.

Here is some of what the caucus said about the gun violence issue this morning.

“We’re under siege as a city. And so we’re on fire, and we’re putting gas on the flames,” said Boyd. She went on to say stopping the “siege” and the “fire” will take “partnering, communicating and coming up a plan.”

Boyd does not have a timeline for coming up with specific proposals. She says she hopes to start having productive meetings including town halls with residents in about 30 days.