Neighborhoods United Presents Plan For Addressing Gun Violence
Neighborhoods United Friday presented its plan for reducing gun violence in Cincinnati. The group says the 45-page document includes tangible steps for increasing neighborhood safety and stability, crafted from meetings with neighborhood and community members.
"Throughout the country, gun violence can be directly related to poverty and unstable living conditions as a result of a total lack of investment in many neighborhoods which are already vulnerable and systemically impoverished," the group notes in the executive summary.
The plan focuses on improvements in six areas: health, education, youth and family support, social and spiritual development, economics, and gun violence mitigation.
Chair Brian Garry says the plan has tangible ideas like re-instituting the Citizens Committee on Youth.
"We're seeing the results of a divestment in our youth. The shooters ages are younger and younger; the victims ages are younger and younger. That's part of what spurred this whole need for a plan to end or reduce gun violence in our city."
Twenty people were shot, five of them killed in different neighborhoods between Friday and Sunday of last week in what police say were unrelated incidents. Earlier this month, the Cincinnati Police Department reported it was tracking an alarming increase in the number of homicides and shootings in 2020.
Neighborhoods United held a rally Tuesday to discuss gun violence and call for a ceasefire.
Garry wants to see Cincinnati take serious action.
"We're calling on the city to declare gun violence a public health emergency," he says. "Tough on crime doesn't work. Addressing root causes does, and it's less expensive and it heals our community."
Among the actions outlined in the plan are:
- increasing access to mental health care and counseling
- identifying and treating the reason(s) why one person shoots another
- broadening tutoring and mentoring opportunities
- stimulating scholarship programs to make college more affordable and encouraging vocational studies
- creating, maintaining and advertising safe spaces for children
- building a city-wide commitment ot increase social mobility
- reducing poverty and developing affordable housing
- connecting youth to jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities
- creating a gun buyback program
- rethinking policing practices
Garry says the situation requires an 'all hands on deck' approach with support from businesses, government, churches, non-profits and the community.
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