PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – City Council’s leadership team, including President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (9th District), Majority Whip Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District), Deputy Whip Mark Squilla (1st District), and Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), co-chair of Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, issued the following joint statement today regarding the latest surge of gun violence in Philadelphia.
“Last month, City Council voted to appropriate and approve a new city budget that includes historic levels of funding for violence prevention programs, including $155 Million in programs overall. Of that total, $68 Million represents new funding. All of this spending is to address unprecedented levels of gun violence in our neighborhoods. The budget year started on July 1.”
“That new funding includes $20 Million for community-based violence prevention efforts – and millions more in additional spending on initiatives where a more community-oriented focus is essential. The goal of this funding is to directly support community-based violence interventions and partnerships with city government to have a greater impact on reducing gun violence in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.”
“Planning and coordination between Council and the administration has been ongoing since the budget was approved, and our next steps — creation of a Violence Prevention & Opportunity Monitoring Group — will be announced shortly. It will include accountability and creativity in how these grants are implemented to reduce violence.”
“As that community-based violence prevention work moves into the implementation phase, it’s equally important that our local, state and federal partners in law enforcement show the same amount of coordination and action. Residents in every neighborhood deserve to feel safe. That means all our law enforcement stakeholders need to work together to get illegal guns off our streets. Every agency needs to be on the same page.”
“We have no more important priority than reducing and preventing this unacceptable level of gun violence across our city. This collaborative approach between City Council and the Kenney administration, state legislative and elected officials, community organizations, and every law enforcement stakeholder should be focused on one shared vision and goal: a safer Philadelphia.”