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CB 4 forms “Community that Cares” program

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Community Board 4 and the borough president’s office are sick and tired of violence.

CB4 members and the beep’s office have announced a new initiative to curb violence in their community. The outreach campaign, called a “Community that Cares,” is aggressively aimed at curbing senseless acts of violence that have torn through the Highbridge community recently.

An announcement of the campaign’s launch was made on the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse on Wednesday, August 25.

Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, CB 4 district manager Jose Rodriguez, and CB 4 chairman Pastor Wenzell Jackson joined supporters in calling for the organization of a strong coalition of clergy, business, and community leaders to address issues of violence.

The action comes after the recent shootings of three people on a single night at Ogden Avenue, at Grand Concourse and East 169th Street, and Cromwell Avenue.

Rodriguez said he is alarmed that the service area of CB4 is leading all others in 911 calls.

“We will do our best to ensure that our community board receives its fair share of charter-mandated resources and stands at the forefront of protecting our citizenry,” Rodriguez said. “We will continue to be a voice for the voiceless. It is the responsibility of our municipal government to provide the protection, the services, and the resources needed for our community districts to thrive and meet their goals.”

Rodriguez said that the board is developing a plan that will call on community members to remove graffiti and hand out literature at train stations about fighting crime. The plan aims to show that the community will not put up with crime any longer.

Standing on the steps of the courthouse, Greene read through a statement from Borough President Ruben Diaz about violence on the rise. In his statement, Diaz said that the borough had come upon difficult times in the 1960s and 70s and continued to fight on, just as it will do now. He expressed support of the program set forth by CB 4.

“This program represents a great way to encourage local community members to get active, at the grassroots level, in promoting the best of the Bronx... while working to make our streets and neighborhoods a safer place to live,” Diaz said.

“I am proud to stand with Community Board 4 in their efforts, and I hope that Community that Cares can serve as a model for other boards not just in the Bronx, but across the City.”

Joining CB 4 in calling for action was 161st Street BID director Cary Goodman, the 44th Precinct Community Council, the 44th Precinct Clergy Council, and Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson.

Through Saturday, August 28, the 44th Precinct, which covers the same service area as CB 4, saw a 71% increase in the number of murders in 2010, compared with the same period the year before.

That number was 12 murders. Community that Cares would like it to be zero.

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