The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Louisville Metro Council for approving a budget ordinance that included $15.8 million in funding for violence intervention programs throughout the city, utilizing dollars granted to the city by the American Rescue Plan. The funding will go towards the Office of Safety and Healthy Neighborhoods, which will oversee the usage of that funding directed toward these community programs. Before the vote, the council’s budget committee heard testimony from local members of Kentucky Moms Demand Action.
“One of the most effective ways to reverse the upward trend of Louisville’s tragic rates of gun violence is by meaningfully investing in community-based violence intervention,” said Rose Smith, an Everytown Survivor Fellow and volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are thankful to the Louisville Metro Council utilizing American Rescue Plan funds to support life-saving, evidence-based violence intervention programs that will protect Louisville communities and reduce gun violence in our city.”
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) allows for local governments to utilize ARP funds to address the increase in gun violence in cities like Louisville. With additional state funding from ARP, states and cities across the country have been able to invest more dollars in community violence intervention programs to combat the nationwide increase in gun violence during the COVID pandemic. Among the states investing historic amounts in community solutions to gun violence are Virginia, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York.
In 2020, 124 people were shot and killed in Louisville, and more than 500 others were shot and wounded. Gun violence costs Kentucky $4.9 billion each year, of which $181.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Kentucky can be found here.