Today I feel very lucky to be a part of the New York City Council. We are considering several bills that treat the causes of violence, with less emphasis on punishing people for problems that could have been prevented.
Violence in our community is not inevitable. To say that violence spreads like a disease is not a metaphor—it is what the science now shows. Violence meets the dictionary definition of a disease, and hundreds of studies now confirm that violence is contagious.
It is good news because we have highly effective and time-tested public health methods used worldwide to stop the spread of contagious diseases. Today we are introducing a range of legislation that will treat the causes of violence and not use brute force to punish behaviors that could have been prevented.
I enthusiastically urge my colleagues to support the $15 million toward the Council’s critical anti-violence and hate violence prevention initiatives.
I urge the restoration of funding for vital agencies that are critical to the social and emotional well-being of New Yorkers, including the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Youth and Community Development.
I applaud the proposal for $14.5 million to fund a new mental health case management program to provide 850 people with services in under-served communities
I am proud to support an additional $4.4 million to double FY2021’s available funds for Intensive Mobile Treatment Teams, which serve those with recent and frequent contact with the mental health, criminal justice, and homeless services systems, and those who were poorly served by traditional treatment models.
I urge immediate passage of $25 million in funding for the City’s Cure Violence programs starting in Summer 2022 and a commitment to triple the City’s Cure Violence program workforce.
While some might find any excuse to maintain the status quo and find ways to argue against these important proposals. We shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Please join me in making today a historic day in the transformation of policing in New York City. Will it end all of our policing problems? No. But today represents a significant step in the right direction. I urge my colleagues and my City to move forward instead of backwards. We have the chance to be on the right side of history by passing this set of reforms.