Standing in front of a mural designed by local artists and youth members of Release the Grip, a Cure Violence initiative of BronxConnect, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Borough President Eric Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams and others in the Bronx on Friday advocated for at least $5 billion in funding for community-based violence intervention programs to be included in the Democrats’ federal reconciliation bill.
Schumer said that communities across the country, like in New York, are experiencing a historic increase in gun violence, and to combat this epidemic, the federal government must invest in community based violence intervention (CVI) programs. Community based violence intervention programs apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention, identifying those at the highest risk and working to reduce violence through various targeted interventions such as job training and reentry services for formerly incarcerated people.
Schumer, Adams and Williams said CVI programs have been successful in reducing violence, but increased violence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for significant federal investment in community based strategies to reduce homicides and shootings that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Studies have shown that community based violence intervention programs, like Cure Violence, have been successful in reducing gun violence, and providing dedicated funding for these programs is critical to stopping the violence before it ever occurs in the first place. Schumer, Adams and Williams were joined by New York City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, NYS Peace Coalition, Speaker of New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, Councilman Antonio Reynoso, state Sen. Jamaal Bailey, Councilman Kevin Riley and others.