NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding the news that President Joe Biden has proposed dedicating $5 billion to support community violence prevention programs over the course of eight years as part of the President’s American Jobs Plan. Earlier this month, a coalition of organizations led by Community Justice Action Fund, Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, Faith in Action’s LIVE FREE USA, Heartland Alliance and Life Camp, Inc. called on the administration and Congress to invest over $5 billion in community led violence intervention programs. Everytown and Moms Demand Action are part of a broad coalition of community and national violence prevention organizations that is committed to securing federal funding for community violence intervention programs.
“The extraordinary investment proposed by the Biden-Harris administration would save countless lives in communities that are most affected by gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “To meaningfully reduce gun violence, we have to both close the loopholes in our gun laws and invest in proven solutions. Congress should move quickly on both tracks to deliver the results the public deserves.”
“This historic proposal represents the kind of serious commitment that our gun violence crisis requires,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “With gun violence on the rise, it’s never been more important to invest in what works. We’re grateful the Biden-Harris administration is once again showing it recognizes the urgency of taking meaningful action to prevent gun violence.”
“Study after study has shown that community-led violence intervention programs save lives, and the pandemic has made their work even harder while straining their resources,” said Michael-Sean Spence, director of community safety initiatives for Everytown for Gun Safety. “Amidst significant increases in gun violence, these groups have expanded their missions to meet emerging needs in our cities against the backdrop of the continuing pandemic and economic crisis. Their work – led by community leaders from the Black and brown communities disproportionately affected by gun violence – has never been more critical.”
Prioritizing solutions to city gun violence is among six gun violence priorities that Everytown has urged the 117th Congress to act on. Gun homicides and assaults occur at shockingly high rates in American cities, and disproportionately impact Black communities — reflecting and amplifying this country’s long-standing systemic and structural racism. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities within our nation’s cities have been historically and systematically underfunded, leaving many gun violence survivors and their families without adequate resources to heal physically, emotionally, and economically in the aftermath of gun violence.
For decades, community-based organizations have successfully reduced violence and uplifted communities by implementing alternative public safety measures that are locally driven, informed by data, and don’t require police involvement. Often referred to as violence intervention programs, these strategies have expanded greatly over the years and include street outreach, group violence intervention, crime prevention through environmental design, hospital-based violence intervention programs, safe passage programs, and cognitive behavioral therapy.