July 31, 2023
Watch the video here at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUJHnoh0LBk
Blueprint Outlines More Than $485 Million in Investments to Create Safer, More Resilient Communities
Prioritizes Investments and Resources for Six Precincts That Experienced Highest Rates of Gun Violence in 2022
Recommendations Product of Months of Engagement With More than 1,500 Community Residents Across City
New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, and the New York City Gun Violence Prevention Task Force today released "A Blueprint for Community Safety," outlining a forward-thinking roadmap with upstream solutions to address gun violence throughout the five boroughs. The report builds upon all the work the Adams administration has undertaken over the last 18 months to reduce gun violence by double digits and culminates months of engagement with communities most impacted by gun violence, including young people, whose feedback was critical in shaping the strategies and recommendations that will ensure the city continues to build on the public safety gains made since January 2022.
The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was formed in June 2022. Co-chaired by First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and Man Up! Inc. Founder A.T. Mitchell, the task force represents a multi-agency, cross-sector effort to address the root causes of gun violence and develop recommendations to promote long-term safety across all communities. As part of this effort, more than 50 members of the task force, representing 20 city agencies, engaged roughly 1,500 community residents over the course of spring 2023 through community convenings and youth town halls.
"Public safety is not only a prerequisite, but the pathway to prosperity. It is what we have campaigned, and what we have delivered. Overall, crime is down across the city year to date, and our numbers continue to trend in the right direction. The work of public safety is never done and even a single loss of life to gun violence is a tragedy," said Mayor Adams. "Today, we are taking our efforts to end gun violence to the next level with this new 'Blueprint for Community Safety' – a more than $485 million dollar plan that will double down on our public safety efforts, invest in our most impacted communities, support our young people and get them on the right path, and activate every level of city government to prioritize prevention-based approaches to public safety. This plan would not have been possible without our co-chairs, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and Man Up! Founder A.T. Mitchell, as well as the more than 1,500 New Yorkers whose ideas and input shaped these recommendations. The work we do together will save lives and create a stronger, safer, more livable city for all."
"As co-chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, our goal has been on traveling upstream, focusing on how we can stop people from picking up guns in the first place," said First Deputy Mayor Wright. "This blueprint is a product of cross agency collaboration, engagement across all levels of government, and, most importantly, direct conversations with the most impacted communities. Together, we have unveiled a blueprint that meets the urgency of the moment and delivers a path forward to make public safety a reality for each and every community."
"I am extremely excited for this moment where we can finally make public the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force blueprint," said A.T. Mitchell, co-chair, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force; and founder, Man Up! "This living document is the beginning of a historic collaborative effort, that once implemented, will work to prevent gun violence from happening in our city. It is my professional opinion that this plan will work because it was created by every facet of the city that is impacted by gun violence. Thank you to Mayor Adams for his unapologetic foresight and trust in me to work diligently alongside First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and her team as co-chairs of the task force. I cannot wait to see the effects of these seven strategies once applied into the first six precincts and eventually into the other top 30. I will remain committed, as I have for over the past 30 years, to see our great city rise above the ashes of senseless gun violence."
The recommendations advanced in the report represent a holistic approach to community safety, focusing on prevention and intervention strategies that use a public health and community development model to address the root causes of gun violence. To that end, the task force identified seven strategies in the report based on months of community engagement. These strategies encompass new and existing investments, totaling over $485 million, to offer early interventions for young people, increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, improve housing security, provide easier access to public benefits, bolster community institutions, foster connections to mental health services, and strengthen police-community relations.
An additional $1.5 million will go towards engagement and evaluation to build an infrastructure to measure progress on the previous strategies. Finally, the state contributed $6 million for the overall blueprint.
"Stopping gun violence is a collective responsibility, which is why the city and state will continue working hand in hand to make our communities safer and create a future where all New Yorkers can thrive," said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. "I'm thankful for Mayor Adams' partnership and commitment to this cause as we build a better future for New York where our kids can play safely, and parents have peace of mind."
"Every year, we lose too many lives because of senseless gun violence that could be averted," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. "I applaud Mayor Adams for doubling down on his commitment to public safety and investing in targeted and community-driven measures to make communities safer. The mayor's plan builds on the work that we have been doing to take down organized gun trafficking rings, go after gun companies, and defend common-sense gun laws and will help us address the root of gun violence. New Yorkers deserve to live in communities free of gun violence and we will continue to fight every day to make that a reality."
According to the report, approximately 92 percent of total gun violence in New York City is concentrated within 30 precincts across the five boroughs. Six of these precincts – representing 25 percent of shooting incidents and 39 percent of confirmed shots fired citywide in 2022 – are being prioritized for new and expanded investments recommended in the report. The six precincts are:
The city is also benefitting from support from New York state and external partners, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Trinity Wall Street. These resources will be used to strengthen the Crisis Management System, which deploys violence interrupters into communities at the highest risk of violence to de-escalate conflicts before they become deadly.
"The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force highlights the collaborative efforts between our city agencies and external organizations who met tirelessly over the past year to ensure we have a clear path forward in making our communities as safe as possible," said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack. "This blueprint demonstrates our administration's commitment towards creating innovative public safety strategies that will also increase employment opportunities and provide resources for youth through justice-centered initiatives."
"We must take steps now to ensure that New York City is a safe space for our young people today and tomorrow. This blueprint provides critical recommendations, which our administration will transform and materialize into reality," said Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin. "I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and community leaders who helped us with this all-hands-on-deck challenge as we remain dedicated to tackling the issue of gun violence together. Mothers and family members should not have to mourn another loss of life due to senseless gun violence."
"Gun violence is the tip of the iceberg, and the only way to address it is to look at what's going on beneath the surface," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. "This plan gets down to the roots of gun violence and chips away at each of those underlying factors until it's gone. New Yorkers deserve to live in an environment where they are safe and feel safe, and that cannot happen without eliminating the threat of gun violence, so this is our roadmap to make it happen."
"The release of this blueprint is the culmination of more than a year of internal and external conversations with a cross-section of New Yorkers and stakeholders, all driving toward the same goal of reducing gun violence through comprehensive strategies," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. "As a result, the blueprint outlines interventions, and opportunities in areas such as housing, police engagement, employment, and so much in between. I look forward to continuing the work of implementing this plan and working toward a safer city for all."
"Thanks to the work of so many city agencies, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force is able to work holistically to prevent the tragedies that guns all too often produce," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "By focusing on healing, families, self-care, and community, we are working to provide safe and vibrant public spaces where our children can play, thrive, and grow up."
"Housing, employment, and entrepreneurship initiatives in this blueprint will expand economic opportunities from youth through adulthood and meet groundbreaking goals to improve the livelihoods of New Yorkers most in danger of gun violence," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. "Thank you to the community members, city agencies, and nonprofits for your recommendations to improve your fellow New Yorkers' safety."
"The Adams administration has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to addressing the gun violence in our city, especially for our communities of color," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar. "Within the framework of the city's first Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we will continue to collaborate to increase early educational opportunities, ensure youth have mentors and positive networks, and improve their access to quality jobs and economic security. We know that these are foundational strategies to prevent young people from becoming involved in gun violence and to increase community safety."
"Gun violence is preventable, and this blueprint outlines our comprehensive strategy to address it," said City Hall Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire. "I thank the Gun Violence Task Force for their tremendous effort to eradicate the root causes of gun violence, to track the impact of guns on our communities, and to ensure that future generations of New Yorkers are safe from guns."
"We are tackling this public health crisis head-on and our focus remains clear: seize the guns, stop the shootings, and save lives," said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward A. Caban. "It all begins with addressing the symptoms of gun violence, and working closely with our law enforcement and community partners to keep the people we serve safe. Together, we will never lose sight of our highest shared purpose – making New York City better tomorrow than it is today."
"It is unacceptable that gun violence has touched the lives of so many of our young people. Every single child has a right to feel safe, supported, and affirmed in their communities," said New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks. "This blueprint outlines the specific actions being taken and programs being developed to address this crisis, many of which are developed in direct response to voices of our students. Programs like Project Pivot, NYC Reads, and Beacon Youth Programs are just a few examples in which we are supporting our young people, preventing engagement in gun violence before it happens, and making our neighborhoods safer. I commend the work that is being done by agencies and community partners across the city to protect our kids, their families, and every New Yorker that makes up this great city."
"This comprehensive blueprint demonstrates the city's commitment to partnering with communities in the fight against gun violence," said New York City Corporation Counsel Judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix. "As prosecutors of juvenile delinquency in Family Court, the Law Department is acutely aware of the destructive impact that gun violence has on families and communities. Our Family Court Division collaborates with the NYPD and community organizations to help the city address the root causes that lead youth to be involved in these tragic and senseless encounters."
"Hurt people hurt people, and violence doesn't wait. Addressing the triggers of violence must happen immediately," said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard. "With the Office of Neighborhood Safety under DYCD, we are hyper-focused on the integration of programs across the agency, starting with the six precincts most affected by gun violence. DYCD is partnering with co-chair A.T. Mitchell and our network of Cure Violence interruption groups to create an ecosystem that provides much-needed prevention and intervention resources. DYCD stands ready to carry out Mayor Adams' plan, with the support of our colleagues at the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, agency partners, and the brave organizations in the Crisis Management System serving as our boots on the ground to make New York City a safer place for all."
"Preventing gun violence in our communities requires an all-hands-on-deck, upstream approach, and as an agency dedicated to keeping children safe and families supported, ACS is proud to be part of this critical effort," said New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. "As part of this work, ACS is currently expanding the Fair Futures program, which provides dedicated coaches to youth in foster care, including during the most transitional moment in a young person's life – between the ages of 21 and 26 – and to youth involved in the juvenile justice system. By investing in our young people, we can make sure more New Yorkers are put on the path to success, so I would like to thank Mayor Adams for prioritizing this issue and thank the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force for laying out this critical blueprint."
"Investments that reinforce neighborhood revitalization and youth are a crucial part of the city's plan to curb gun violence," said Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan. "Our strategies include positive, practical interventions designed to actively engage historically vulnerable communities in combating gun violence. Our collective effort to provide comprehensive social services for the welfare and security of all New Yorkers is yet another demonstration of Mayor Adams' commitment to strengthening the public safety ecosystem."
"The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force blueprint culminates tireless efforts, collaborative brainstorming, and a deep commitment to protecting New York City. It lays the groundwork for empowering us to address the complexities of this issue with determination and compassion," said New York City Department of Probation (DOP) Commissioner Juanita N. Holmes. "We will collectively forge ahead, transforming this vision into reality and leaving behind a legacy of safety and hope for future generations. The DOP is proud to be a part of leading the charge with our Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeON). Through the hard work of our staff and probation officers, we've expanded and enhanced our services via NeON+, which provides navigators at our community centers to help families and people with justice involvement access critical government benefits, including healthcare and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Our NeONs are in the South Bronx, Brownsville, and East New York, and we will expand to the Wakefield neighborhood to provide job training, jobs, civic involvement, and art programs for young people. To effectively address this pressing issue at its roots, DOP is focused on fostering strong partnerships, creating an open dialogue, and empowering our young people. I applaud Mayor Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, and A.T. Mitchell for their leadership and a path forward to end gun violence in New York City."
"The enormous responsibility of preventing gun violence is shared by every member of law enforcement and the justice system," said New York City Department of Correction Commissioner Louis A. Molina. "We are proud to take part in Mayor Adams' plan to reduce gun violence in our city and will work with our partner agencies to expand trauma-informed care access in our jails. By providing targeted individualized and group interventions, we will address several of the pervasive issues that ultimately lead to violence in our communities."
"Preventing gun violence means saving lives, but without a collaborative, multi-agency effort to address the root causes of gun violence, we will be fighting an uphill battle," said New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. "That's why it is so important that this administration is taking real action to fight the scourge of gun violence, speaking directly to the most impacted communities to learn how we can best meet their most pressing needs. We look forward to working with our government partners, non-profits, and activists to solve these upstream challenges by enrolling more New Yorkers in critical benefits, connecting more of our vulnerable neighbors to safe, affordable homes, and improving services and supports for justice involved individuals."
"As this task force so accurately identified, increasing access to high-quality, affordable housing is directly linked to reducing violence and improving neighborhood safety," said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. "That's why improving the quality of our existing housing and developing vacant land into affordable housing are key parts of a holistic plan to keep New Yorkers safe. Together, we can ensure that every New Yorker has a home that is safe, affordable, habitable, and free of gun violence."
"Community safety is an issue that is central to our city and one that is threaded through the work of so many agencies, including NYCHA," said New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. "Every day, NYCHA remains focused on utilizing all available tools to bring investment to our properties, improve conditions, and enhance the quality of life for residents. We applaud the city's focus on gun violence prevention and join our agency partners and agency leaders in the mutual commitment to keep New York healthy and safe."
"Ending gun violence is of the utmost importance for fostering safe and welcoming neighborhoods for all to thrive in our city – in our parks and greenspaces, and beyond," said New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue. "We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking task force and are committed to doing our part as a member of this working group to make our city safer for all residents."
"To address the cycle of gun violence in our communities, New York City must adopt a holistic response that is grounded in evidence, centers the voices of those most affected, and delivers needed resources," said Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity Acting Executive Director Carson Hicks. "This blueprint does that, and we are proud to be a partner in the city's new efforts focused on community safety."
"The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force demonstrates the immense power of government and community coming together to build holistic, innovative strategies to ending gun violence," said Mayor's Office of Equity Commissioner Sideya Sherman. "We are thrilled to see these initiatives – which address a range of racial and socioeconomic inequities – take root and help foster safer, thriving communities."
"Gun violence is a public health issue that takes far too many New Yorkers from their families, their homes, and our city," said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "It has become a leading cause of premature death and is contributing to the unprecedented decline in life expectancy in our city. But we have public health tools to address this public health crisis, using prevention strategies that focus our efforts upstream on the drivers and causes that can avert violence and tragedy before they occur. Every corner of government is committed to bringing these public health resources where they are needed most and to ensuring that we are a safer, healthier city for all."
"NYC Health + Hospitals has some of the busiest emergency departments and trauma centers in the city, where our staff are far too familiar with the devastating effects of gun violence," said New York City Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. "For years our hospitals have developed pioneering, results-driven programming to reduce gun violence, whether through interventions with violently injured patients at the hospital bedside, or through programming to deter acts of retaliation, support at-risk youth, and stand up to violence. We are proud to support the mayor's public health approach to gun violence and work hand-in-hand with our city partners to heal our communities and keep them safe."
"We are thrilled to support the work of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and the release of the Blueprint for Community Safety," said Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) Commissioner Cecile Noel. "As we move forward to address this critical issue, we must not lose sight of the intersection between gun violence and domestic violence, which often leads to deadly consequences for survivors. To reduce the number of domestic violence homicides, we must ensure that people who abuse their intimate partners do not have access to firearms, while simultaneously developing supports to address abusive behavior, such as ENDGBV's non-mandated, community-based abusive partner intervention program, Respect and Responsibility. My office remains committed to furthering this work and partnering with city agencies, community-based organizations, and community members to implement the recommendations contained in the blueprint, so that we can bring New York City closer to achieving enduring racial – and gender – justice."
"The data is clear: When people have access to economic opportunity, they are less likely to be impacted by gun violence," said New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. "Through groundbreaking new initiatives, such as Cannabis NYC, which connects justice-involved individuals with careers in the legal cannabis industry, to the expansion of the SBS outreach team that brings employment and small business resources directly into some of our most underserved neighborhoods, SBS works tirelessly to ensure our programs help break the cycle of gun violence."
"As we transform our food system into one that supports the health of every New Yorker, we must account for the fact that communities can face a disproportionate amount of social and economic challenges that impair health and produce trauma," said Mayor's Office of Food Policy Executive Director Kate MacKenzie. "This announcement demonstrates our city's commitment to investing in resources that reduce gun violence by empowering individuals and improving community well-being. We look forward to continued collaboration with our agency partners to create safer and more resilient communities."
Under Mayor Adams' leadership, the city has already seen improvements in public safety, including gun violence. Through July 29, shootings in New York City declined by 27 percent compared to the same time period last year, and overall crime is down, year to date. Since January 2022, the NYPD has also recovered more than 11,000 illegal guns from New York City streets.
"Community-based violence interrupters are essential to a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence in our cities and guaranteeing funding is critical to their longevity," said Michael-Sean Spence, managing director of community safety initiatives, Everytown for Gun Safety. "Everytown is thankful that Mayor Adams continues to prioritize investments to build a comprehensive gun violence prevention program to ensure the delivery of wrap-around services and trauma-informed care to our communities most affected by gun violence."
"Healthy communities are safe communities," said Susan Shah, managing director of racial justice, Trinity Church Wall Street. "Only by investing in housing, health, jobs, and youth services can New York address and prevent violence. We are glad to see the city committing the whole of government in this promise to our communities."