ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM-TV) – Governor Kathy Hochul is taking on gun violence in New York State. The governor released her plan Tuesday evening, announcing $23.7 million dollars will be spread throughout 20 different cities across the state in an effort to curbe gun violence.
“Our work is not finished but at least it’s begun,” Gov. Hochul said. “Everybody deserves to live on a street that’s safe. It breaks my heart as a mom and as a human being to know that Black children are ten times more likely to lose their lives to gun violence than a white child. How does that happen? Every child matters. Every life has dignity, and every life should continue on.”
Gov. Hochul’s efforts are different than Gov. Cuomo’s, who declared gun violence a disaster emergency in July. It’s a welcomed change for some Elmira residents.
“In the past, when funds were put forth to mediate gun violence, it was in increased law enforcement or drug interdiction,” Elmira resident Sam Somostrada said. “It sounds like the state of New York is looking for some alternative measures in terms of bringing up the quality of life in those areas.”
Gov. Hochul emphasized she and her administration will continue to work with local leaders across the state in an effort to put an end to gun violence.
The following is from the Governor’s Office.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced funding for several gun violence prevention efforts, which include job training, community activities, and intervener staffing in communities seeing the highest concentration of gun violence.
“Gun violence is a horror no one should have to live through, and yet too many New Yorkers do. It is time we put an end to this epidemic,” Governor Hochul said. “We have to give young people hope and let them know their lives have meaning, which starts with creating jobs as well as more access to career training, working closely together with community organizations, and boosting gun violence intervention programs.”
Governor Hochul and her administration worked with local leaders across the state to identify the most effective use of gun violence prevention funds in each community. Funding has been awarded to support three gun violence prevention programs.
Job Training and Placement
New York is awarding $16 million to local workforce development boards to fund workforce training and job placement programs in 20 cities most impacted by gun violence across New York State. Programs were designed and reviewed by local leaders to provide job training, credentialing and career placement services to ultimately connect at-risk youth to good-paying, permanent jobs. Unemployed, underemployed and out-of-school youth age 18-24 in areas of cities impacted by gun violence will be eligible. This is in addition to $12 million already awarded to the Consortium for Worker Education to facilitate similar programs to youth in New York City. Interested young people can learn more and connect to these programs here.
New York is awarding $5.7 million in grants to provide sports, arts, civic engagement, skill development, and recreational programming in communities seeing high gun violence. These afterschool and weekend programs will provide young people with safe and enriching activities in their community Programs were recommended by county and legislative leaders in each community.
Additional Staffing for Community-Based Gun Violence Intervention Organizations
New York is awarding $2 million to gun violence intervention programs across the state to hire and train 39 new street outreach workers and violence interrupters. This funding will allow successful community-based gun intervention programs to increase their staff of credible messengers, who engage and mentor at-risk youth, host community events, work to steer young people away from gun violence, and respond to shootings to prevent retaliatory violence. Additional awards to hire new outreach workers and interrupters will be made in the coming weeks.