[Mintwood-place] Positive Response to Gang Violence on Girard
Jim at grahamwone.com
Fri Jan 23 08:19:46 PST 2009
A week ago, over 100 residents, ANC Commissioners and representatives from youth serving organizations and schools from every corner of Ward One, gathered at the Columbia Heights Community Center at 15th and Girard. We were brought together as a result of gang and crew related shootings and homicides that have touched all of us. I want to thank Gail Oliver, Executive Director of Columbia Heights Youth Club for hosting our event. This was all reported by the Washington post and Channel 5 TV.
In the words of young Columbia Heights Youth Club staff member Jonathan Quinteros, "We have worked too hard for someone to just come in and destroy it," he said. "These people doing this, they don't care. A beef is nothing. It is not about Hispanic, African -- we are all one. Y'all got to understand, you can't be just killing each other."
We were all inspired by Jonathan's words. All of us have worked together for a long time to make sure young people have access to support networks and services that will help them advance to responsible adulthood. The shootings over the last several weeks and the gathering on Friday have reminded us how important it is to continue our collective efforts.
In 2008 I commissioned the writing of a blue print for a citywide, community based strategy to end gang and crew violence. The blue print is based on an analysis of current programs in DC and gang and crew violence prevention programs in other parts of the country. I will present that blue print to the Council in the coming weeks.
Last Friday's gathering made me more confident than ever that we can win back those young people that have falsely found safety, love and hope in the gangs and crews. I look forward to our continued work together.
Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham
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