Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a press conference Monday about gun violence in New York City and the Summer Rising program.
De Blasio shared his experience standing with community activists against gun violence in the Bronx on Saturday, July 17.
“We were all united with a message filled with passion,” de Blasio said. “We have to stop the violence and we’re going to have to do it from the ground up. We absolutely value the work of the NYPD, but we also need communities to come forward in the fight against violence.”
Community-based solutions were stressed as critical ways to prevent violence. De Blasio said the city would double investments in the cure violence workforce this summer, a Health Department approach to violence. The mayor also said recreational activity for New York City kids will also be involved.
City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, the Bronx borough president-elect, said although adding recreational activities for high-risk kids is important, it’s not enough.
“This violence is out of control,” Gibson said. “We’re living in a state of emergency and we need crisis intervention. Until we deal with the national crisis of gun violence with comprehensive gun legislation at the federal level, we will continue this vicious cycle.”
Later in the press conference, de Blasio bolstered the success of the Summer Rising program. According to the mayor, about 200,000 kids are enrolled in the program, making it the largest summer program in the history of New York City.
“If you need a place for your child this summer there’s a place for free, in your neighborhood,” de Blasio said.
A Staten Island mom of four said that Summer Rising has been a lifesaver since she and her husband are working full time.
“When this program came out, I called it the working parent’s dream,” Liza Schatzman said. “It is a parent’s dream and a kid’s dream. My son Ross now feels ready for middle school, he tells me now he knows how to do fractions.”
Parents have until midnight tomorrow to sign up for the Summer Rising program at nyc.gov/summerrising.