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Eric Adams unveils blueprint to tackle gun violence in NY

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New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, and the New York City Gun Violence Prevention Task Force have released a blueprint for community safety.

This was disclosed in a statement on Monday July 31, 2023.

According to the statement, the blueprint outlines a forward-thinking roadmap with upstream solutions to address gun violence throughout the five boroughs.

The report builds upon all the work the Adams administration has undertaken over the last 18 months to reduce gun violence by double digits and culminates months of engagement with communities most impacted by gun violence, including young people, whose feedback was critical in shaping the strategies and recommendations that will ensure the city continues to build on the public safety gains made since January 2022.

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was formed in June 2022.

Co-chaired by First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and Man Up! Inc. Founder A.T. Mitchell, the task force represents a multi-agency, cross-sector effort to address the root causes of gun violence and develop recommendations to promote long-term safety across all communities.

As part of this effort, more than 50 members of the task force, representing 20 city agencies, engaged roughly 1,500 community residents over the course of spring 2023 through community convenings and youth town halls.

“Public safety is not only a prerequisite, but the pathway to prosperity. It is what we have campaigned, and what we have delivered. Overall, crime is down across the city year to date, and our numbers continue to trend in the right direction.

“The work of public safety is never done and even a single loss of life to gun violence is a tragedy,” said Mayor Adams.

“Today, we are taking our efforts to end gun violence to the next level with this new ‘Blueprint for Community Safety’ — a more than $485 million dollar plan that will double down on our public safety efforts, invest in our most impacted communities, support our young people and get them on the right path, and activate every level of city government to prioritize prevention-based approaches to public safety.

“This plan would not have been possible without our co-chairs, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and Man Up! Founder A.T. Mitchell, as well as the more than 1,500 New Yorkers whose ideas and input shaped these recommendations. The work we do together will save lives and create a stronger, safer, more livable city for all,”he added.

Speaking about the blueprint, First Deputy Mayor Wright, stated, “As co-chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, our goal has been on traveling upstream, focusing on how we can stop people from picking up guns in the first place.”

“This blueprint is a product of cross agency collaboration, engagement across all levels of government, and, most importantly, direct conversations with the most impacted communities. Together, we have unveiled a blueprint that meets the urgency of the moment and delivers a path forward to make public safety a reality for each and every community.”

He added, “I am extremely excited for this moment where we can finally make public the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force blueprint,” said A.T. Mitchell, co-chair, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; and founder, Man Up!

“This living document is the beginning of a historic collaborative effort, that once implemented, will work to prevent gun violence from happening in our city. It is my professional opinion that this plan will work because it was created by every facet of the city that is impacted by gun violence. Thank you to Mayor Adams for his unapologetic foresight and trust in me to work diligently alongside First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and her team as co-chairs of the task force. I cannot wait to see the effects of these seven strategies once applied into the first six precincts and eventually into the other top 30. I will remain committed, as I have for over the past 30 years, to see our great city rise above the ashes of senseless gun violence.”

The recommendations advanced in the blueprint represent a holistic approach to community safety, focusing on prevention and intervention strategies that use a public health and community development model to address the root causes of gun violence. To that end, the task force identified seven strategies in the report based on months of community engagement.

These strategies encompass new and existing investments, totaling over $485 million, to offer early interventions for young people, increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, improve housing security, provide easier access to public benefits, bolster community institutions, foster connections to mental health services, and strengthen police-community relations.

Other leaders who commented about the blueprint

Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack disclosed that the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force highlights the collaborative efforts between city agencies and external organizations.

He emphasized that they met tirelessly over the past year to ensure we have a clear path forward in making our communities as safe as possible.

“This blueprint demonstrates our administration’s commitment towards creating innovative public safety strategies that will also increase employment opportunities and provide resources for youth through justice-centered initiatives,” he said.

“We must take steps now to ensure that New York City is a safe space for our young people today and tomorrow. This blueprint provides critical recommendations, which our administration will transform and materialize into reality,” said Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin. “I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and community leaders who helped us with this all-hands-on-deck challenge as we remain dedicated to tackling the issue of gun violence together. Mothers and family members should not have to mourn another loss of life due to senseless gun violence.”

“Gun violence is the tip of the iceberg, and the only way to address it is to look at what’s going on beneath the surface,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III.

“This plan gets down to the roots of gun violence and chips away at each of those underlying factors until it’s gone. New Yorkers deserve to live in an environment where they are safe and feel safe, and that cannot happen without eliminating the threat of gun violence, so this is our roadmap to make it happen.”

“The release of this blueprint is the culmination of more than a year of internal and external conversations with a cross-section of New Yorkers and stakeholders, all driving toward the same goal of reducing gun violence through comprehensive strategies,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.

“As a result, the blueprint outlines interventions, and opportunities in areas such as housing, police engagement, employment, and so much in between. I look forward to continuing the work of implementing this plan and working toward a safer city for all.”

“Thanks to the work of so many city agencies, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force is able to work holistically to prevent the tragedies that guns all too often produce,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi.

“By focusing on healing, families, self-care, and community, we are working to provide safe and vibrant public spaces where our children can play, thrive, and grow up.”

“Housing, employment, and entrepreneurship initiatives in this blueprint will expand economic opportunities from youth through adulthood and meet groundbreaking goals to improve the livelihoods of New Yorkers most in danger of gun violence,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer.

“Thank you to the community members, city agencies, and nonprofits for your recommendations to improve your fellow New Yorkers’ safety.”

“The Adams administration has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to addressing the gun violence in our city, especially for our communities of color,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar.

“Within the framework of the city’s first Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we will continue to collaborate to increase early educational opportunities, ensure youth have mentors and positive networks, and improve their access to quality jobs and economic security. We know that these are foundational strategies to prevent young people from becoming involved in gun violence and to increase community safety.”

“Gun violence is preventable, and this blueprint outlines our comprehensive strategy to address it,” said City Hall Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire. “I thank the Gun Violence Task Force for their tremendous effort to eradicate the root causes of gun violence, to track the impact of guns on ourcommunities nsure that future generations of New Yorkers are safe from guns.”

“We are tackling this public health crisis head-on and our focus remains clear: seize the guns, stop the shootings, and save lives,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward A. Caban.

“It all begins with addressing the symptoms of gun violence, and working closely with our law enforcement and community partners to keep the people we serve safe. Together, we will never lose sight of our highest shared purpose — making New York City better tomorrow than it is today.”

“It is unacceptable that gun violence has touched the lives of so many of our young people. Every single child has a right to feel safe, supported, and affirmed in their communities,” said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks.

“This blueprint outlines the specific actions being taken and programs being developed to address this crisis, many of which are developed in direct response to voices of our students. Programs like Project Pivot, NYC Reads, and Beacon Youth Programs are just a few examples in which we are supporting our young people, preventing engagement in gun violence before it happens, and making our neighborhoods safer. I commend the work that is being done by agencies and community partners across the city to protect our kids, their families, and every New Yorker that makes up this great city.”

“This comprehensive blueprint demonstrates the city’s commitment to partnering with communities in the fight against gun violence,” said New York City Corporation Counsel Judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix.

“As prosecutors of juvenile delinquency in Family Court, the Law Department is acutely aware of the destructive impact that gun violence has on families and communities. Our Family Court Division collaborates with the NYPD and community organizations to help the city address the root causes that lead youth to be involved in these tragic and senseless encounters.”

“Hurt people hurt people, and violence doesn’t wait. Addressing the triggers of violence must happen immediately,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard.

“With the Office of Neighborhood Safety under DYCD, we are hyper-focused on the integration of programs across the agency, starting with the six precincts most affected by gun violence. DYCD is partnering with co-chair A.T. Mitchell and our network of Cure Violence interruption groups to create an ecosystem that provides much-needed prevention and intervention resources. DYCD stands ready to carry out Mayor Adams’ plan, with the support of our colleagues at the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, agency partners, and the brave organizations in the Crisis Management System serving as our boots on the ground to make New York City a safer place for all.”

“Preventing gun violence in our communities requires an all-hands-on-deck, upstream approach, and as an agency dedicated to keeping children safe and families supported, ACS is proud to be part of this critical effort,” said New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Dannhauser.

“As part of this work, ACS is currently expanding the Fair Futures program, which provides dedicated coaches to youth in foster care, including during the most transitional moment in a young person’s life — between the ages of 21 and 26 — and to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. By investing in our young people, we can make sure more New Yorkers are put on the path to success, so I would like to thank Mayor Adams for prioritizing this issue and thank the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force for laying out this critical blueprint.”

“Investments that reinforce neighborhood revitalization and youth are a crucial part of the city’s plan to curb gun violence,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan.

“Our strategies include positive, practical interventions designed to actively engage historically vulnerable communities in combating gun violence. Our collective effort to provide comprehensive social services for the welfare and security of all New Yorkers is yet another demonstration of Mayor Adams’ commitment to strengthening the public safety ecosystem.”

“The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force blueprint culminates tireless efforts, collaborative brainstorming, and a deep commitment to protecting New York City. It lays the groundwork for empowering us to address the complexities of this issue with determination and compassion,” said New York City Department of Probation (DOP) Commissioner Juanita N. Holmes.

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