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New York Just Announced Their Safe Summer Gun Violence Prevention Initiative. Here’s Why it Matters.

April 22, 2021

This week, Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced the Safe Summer NYC initiative yesterday, a comprehensive plan to end gun violence in New York City. The initiative focuses largely on investing in community-based violence intervention programs and preventing gun violence among youth by investing in neighborhoods and providing positive alternatives for young people, including job opportunities. 

“Gun violence in New York has been a crisis for years, and the pandemic has exacerbated it,” said Mary Amsterdam, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action. “With this intervention, the city is taking an important step toward ending gun violence and saving lives. We thank the city for launching this important initiative and look forward to their continued partnership in the fight to end gun violence.”

Community-based violence intervention programs have been successful nationwide in reducing gun violence and homicide. Violence intervention programs successfully reduce violence by implementing alternative public safety measures that are locally driven, informed by data, and often don’t require police involvement.

Some of the community oriented initiatives and investments include: 

  • Doubling Cure Violence workforce across 31 sites
  • Doubling Summer Youth Anti-Violence employment slots from 800 to 2000, both during the summer and throughout the year
  • Launching Operation Safe Parks and Gang-Free Zones-a partnership between the NYPD and community stakeholders-to provide safe, protected places for people to congregate free from violence and with peace-of-mind
  • Hosting Saturday Night Light games at 100 sites citywide
  • Completely refurbishing 15 basketball courts at NYCHA developments by August, as well as four basketball courts and a new soccer pitch at Colonel Charles Young Park in Harlem by July
  • Holding anti-violence fairs in 30 neighborhoods across the city

More on gun violence in New York:

  • In New York State each year, on average, 370 people die by firearm homicide, and 1,522 people are wounded by gun assault or shooting by police. 
  • Black people in New York State are 15 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white people. 
  • Gun violence costs New York State $5.9 billion each year, of which $321 million is paid by taxpayers. 

Read additional statistics about gun violence in New York here.

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