Statement on Securing Funds for Violence Prevention in the Upcoming Budget

Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie has released the following statement on securing funds for violence prevention in the Council budget process:

“We are in a state of emergency with regard to gun violence in the District of Columbia and, unfortunately, the Mayor’s proposed budget does not reflect the urgency I hear from residents who are sick of hearing gunshots in their communities and families who are heartbroken from burying family members.

As the author of the NEAR Act and a champion for small business in the District of Columbia, I am proud that the Committee on Business and Economic Development’s Budget Report supports both of these priorities. The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund and Great Streets programs remain intact, funded at $10.1 million. I am proud I was able to identify $2.1 million from a lapsed fund that has not had grant making authority since Fiscal Year 2018. If the committee’s budget recommendations are adopted, those funds will be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General to implement the NEAR Act’s Cure Violence program.

Merely blocks from the location of the Mayor’s political event, four individuals were captured on camera in a shootout adjacent to a local park and elementary school.

It is my hope that after the Mayor’s event she will walk around the corner and speak to the neighbors impacted by gun violence in Woodridge, Brentwood, and Edgewood. Those neighbors will tell her what they tell me and what I have repeated many times: gun violence in the District of Columbia is an urgent crisis and we must treat it as such by investing in solutions that have shown positive results.”