WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements after today’s announcement that the Biden-Harris Administration has allocated $100 million in funding to support community violence intervention programs across the country.
“As our cities face spikes in shootings, there is a pressing need to invest in proven community violence intervention programs that we know will make a difference,” said Michael-Sean Spence, senior director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re grateful that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken bold action to provide critical funding to violence intervention programs who are on the ground doing the incredible work that is essential to reversing these spikes and saving lives.”
“No one is better equipped to prevent gun violence than the grassroots leaders who are already working to keep the peace in the hardest-hit communities,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for making sure frontline organizations and community violence intervention programs have the support they need to do this life-saving work.”
“This historic funding into proven solutions to break the vicious cycle of violence in the communities most impacted by gun violence will save lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Community-based violence intervention programs are on the frontlines of the gun violence epidemic, but for far too long they’ve been under-funded and under-supported. Our grassroots army of volunteers are proud to partner with these organizations as we continue to turn the tide and ensure their life-saving work receives the recognition and support they need and deserve.”
This historic funding is a result of the $50 million in dedicated funding for CVI in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package and funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which dedicated $250 million for evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs.
President Biden has repeatedly provided CVI the support and investments it needs by leveraging 26 existing federal grant programs to support CVI, educating states on how to use Medicaid funding to reimburse CVI, and calling for a $5 billion investment in CVI as part of the American Jobs Plan and later including it in the Build Back Better Act. The House of Representatives passed the Break the Cycle of Violence Act last week, legislation supported by President Biden which would provide additional funding for violence intervention programs. President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget calls for $500 million devoted to evidence-informed, community-based interventions to address gun violence in cities.
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law as record gun sales during the pandemic fueled record gun violence. Since then, the Administration issued guidance that unlocked American Rescue Plan funds for community violence intervention programs, opening up millions for proven, live-saving programs.
Everytown has worked closely with members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and coalition partners to support their efforts to invest ARP funds in gun violence prevention, sharing information on the flexible use of these critical funds to keep communities safer and highlighting evidence-informed strategies. Everytown has also worked with coalition partners in states including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, as well as D.C. as they have cumulatively invested hundreds of millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funds to support violence intervention programs, and with other states including New York, Oregon, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington as they have invested in community-based solutions to end gun violence through state budget funds.
Everytown is a member of the Invest In Us Coalition, a group of community and national violence prevention organizations committed to building support for increased federal funding for evidence-informed community solutions to gun violence and educating leaders and the general public about proactive solutions to make our communities safer.
Since 2019, the Everytown Community Safety Fund, the largest national initiative solely dedicated to fueling the life-saving work of community-based violence intervention programs in cities nationwide, has granted $7.15 million in support of 72 community-based violence intervention organizations implementing promising strategies, like street outreach, hospital-based violence interventions and youth development and counseling, in more than 57 American cities.