Mayor Bottoms Announced That Atlanta is Working to Invest an Additional $5 Million in Expanding the City’s Cure Violence Program; Funds Will Come From American Rescue Plan
ATLANTA — The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after she announced that she would invest an additional $5 million in Atlanta’s Cure Violence program. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month, which authorized $130 billion in funding for local governments.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the root causes of gun violence, like income and housing inequality, and it’s strained the life-saving social services that programs like Cure Violence provide – which is why providing those programs with much-needed resources is so important,” said Elaine DeSimone, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Mayor Bottoms’ announcement today will allow Cure Violence to continue and expand its vital work of stopping gun violence before it happens in the first place, and cities across Georgia – and across the country – should follow her lead.”
To assist localities, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law on March 12, 2021, authorizing $130 billion in funding for local governments to counter the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments can utilize ARP funds to prevent or address gun violence in cities because increased gun violence and the expanded work of violence intervention programs can be traced to the impact of the pandemic and violence intervention professionals are performing essential, frontline work to protect the public and interrupt gun violence.
Cities across the country, like Columbus, Baton Rouge, Chicago, and Grand Rapids used the 2020 federal COVID-19 relief funds to address increases in gun violence. Cities should earmark ARP dollars to fund their comprehensive gun violence reduction plans. Nowhere are these funds more urgently needed than for the violence intervention programs that have been performing essential work on the frontlines of both COVID-19 and violence prevention. These programs require additional funds to bolster and expand their evidence-driven violence intervention strategies, reduce gun violence, and lift up communities. Atlanta joins cities like Akron, Ohio in committing to investing their American Rescue Plan funds in gun violence prevention programming, and other cities should follow suit.