Leading the Charge



Kara Nelson Baekey of Moms Demand Action

melani lust

Except for being an engaged voter, Kara Nelson Baekey has never been much of an activist. “I’d never made a sign or marched in front of a building,” she says.

That changed for the Riverside native shortly after a disturbed gunman used a high-powered assault rifle to blast his way into Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School and brutally kill twenty-six children and educators. Like so many Fairfield County parents Kara spent last December 14 heartbroken and horrified. “My eyes were swollen shut from crying,” says Kara, now a Norwalk resident, who took an early train home from her Manhattan job as an operations director at a digital advertising agency to take comfort in her kids.

Kara spared her six-year-old son the awful details, but felt compelled to speak to her daughter, Charlotte, a nine-year-old fourth grader, about the tragedy. “Better to hear it from me than her friends,” Kara explains. Charlotte’s response disturbed Kara even more. “She said, ‘Could this happen in my school? Could it happen to us?’” And even though Kara reassured her daughter she was safe, “I knew I was totally lying. And I couldn’t deal with the idea that I was lying.” So she decided to act.

Distressed that “some of the guns we call legal are just killing machines,” Kara did her homework and quickly allied herself with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots organization formed in Newtown’s wake by Zionsville, Indiana mom Shannon Watts. The nonprofit now claims more than seventy chapters.

As the founder of its Fairfield County chapter, Kara is leading a core group of about 700 moms closest to Newtown’s ground zero. “In just one month, Kara has pulled together an extremely strong chapter that has mobilized mothers in Newtown and other local communities to act,” says Shannon.

So far, Kara’s role has included building membership through social and traditional media, leading a civil protest outside a Stamford gun show and galvanizing support for gun control marches in Hartford, Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, New York.

The group’s agenda is distinctly partisan: “We’re not about dialogue. There’s been dialogue and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. Instead of reaching out to naysayers, we’re interested in reaching out to lawmakers,” she says.

To that end, Moms Demand Action is calling for legislative bans on assault weapons, mandatory background checks for gun purchasers and reporting mandates for large ammunition sales. As Kara takes on the anticipated fight, she says she draws inspiration from what the founders of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) did to strengthen drunk driving laws across the nation. “I believe some very motivated moms working together can get things done.” For more information visit momsdemandaction.org »

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays!

    2014.06.30
     @ ELLELA Cosmetics & Lashes

    Our Summer Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays are back at ELLELA Cosmetics! Hit the top of Greenwich Ave from 4pm to 8pm for the BEST Blowouts before...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Wine Time Social Hour

    2014.08.29
     @ Barcelona Wine Bar

    Fairfield Monday - Friday 3 - 6:30pm $5 select wines, $4 well drinks, $3 beers. 3 for $16 tapas Greenwich Monday - Friday 4 - 7...

  • Seaside Center: Arts and Crafts

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Let your creativity float free! Practice the art of Gyotaku fish prints; make a sundial, a shell wind chime, or fish bowl! Activities vary every...

  • Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.09
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    Each Friday we feature new wines just released and new to market for you to have an opportunity to taste and learn about through our sponsored...

  • Saturday Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.10
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    We will feature an array of new and different International wines that are selected by our staff as “Staff Picks Favorites” in...

  • Polo Benefit for Hope

    2014.08.31
     @ Greenwich Polo Club

    For the second year in a row, Virginia's House of Hope is having a fundraiser at the Greenwich Polo Club! Join us on Sunday, August...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Animal Meet and Greet

    2014.06.22
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 22 - August 31, 3:30 - 4:00pm Stop by for a chance to meet one of our Overbrook Nature Center or Heckscher Farm animals up...

  • Bar: Live Music | Greenwich, CT

    2014.03.09
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    Join us in Greenwich every Sunday for live music and half-priced bottles of wine!

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Best of Greenwich
    Delamar Greenwich Harbor
  2. 10 Things Greenwich Teens Can Do This Summer
    One Greenwich teen shares some suggestions for summer fun!
  3. Villa Maria School: Annual Spring Gala
    Richards of Greenwich
  4. Save the Children Benefit
    Riverside Yacht Club
  5. Twelfth Annual New York Smile Event
    Cipriani Wall Street