NEW YORK, NY – Today, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) traveled with President Joe Biden back to New York City to discuss combating gun violence with the President, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, Members of the New York City Congressional delegation, leadership and officers of the New York City Police Department and community leaders. In 2021, Rep. Jeffries successfully fought for $5 billion for Break the Cycle legislation in the Build Back Better Act to reduce community violence and trauma in New York City and across the country.
The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives in November, would fund violence interruption programs to deploy trusted messengers to engage directly with individuals in their communities and hospital-based violence interventions to aid shooting victims and reduce the chances of them being involved with violence in the future. Further, the program would use proven strategies other than incarceration, which costs the government and families of justice-involved people at least $182 billion every year, including $80.7 billion for Public Corrections Agencies.
Remarks as Delivered:
“Thank you, Senator Gillibrand.
To President Biden, Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, General Garland, Commissioner Sewell, all my colleagues in government, men and women of the NYPD.
President Biden, thank you for your leadership, your partnership, for your presence here in New York City. We believe the greatest city in the world, with apologies to Wilmington, Delaware.
But every great city, of course, has challenges, and a stunning rise in gun violence is a major challenge for us to address. But we recognize, as you have indicated, it’s a national challenge.
Think about the dynamic that we are confronting here in America. We have 4% of the world’s population but 40% of the world’s guns. That means there are more than 300 million guns circulating in the United States of America.
And many of those guns, such as the one used to strike down two heroes, Detective Rivera and Detective Mora, are weapons of war.
They’re not used to hunt deer. They’re used to hunt human beings. That’s not acceptable.
Many of those guns too easily fall into the hands of violent individuals in far too many communities, such as many that I represent in central Brooklyn and across America. That’s not acceptable.
And far too many of those guns are illegally trafficked from other places into this great metropolis. That’s not acceptable.
So, it’s an all-hands-on-deck approach that will require tremendous leadership, as is being provided by our President, our Governor and our Mayor and our Congressional delegation at all levels of government. City, state and federal.
And the Congressional delegation in the House, Representatives Velázquez, Nadler, Espaillat, Meng, Suozzi and others, we stand ready to partner with you to get done what needs to happen to deal with this gun violence scourge with the fierce urgency of now to make sure that we balance the interests of public safety and that important American principle of liberty and justice for all and invest in communities that have traditionally been left behind to create opportunity in every single zip code.
A tough moment for us in the city, but we’re a resilient community, a resilient city, a resilient country. You can knock us down, but never knock us out, and together we will get this done.
Thank you for your leadership, Mr. President.”
In the plan of actions announced today to reduce gun crime and make communities safer, the President outlined “investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.” As part of the Build Back Better agenda, President Biden proposed, and House Democrats secured $5 billion in funding for the Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to invest in community violence interventions, evidence-based programs that are shown to help reduce violent crime.
Studies have shown that community violence intervention programs have been successful in reducing violence in their communities. In Richmond, California, there was a 70 percent drop in gun homicides between 2007 and 2016 after implementing such a program. In Massachusetts, gun homicide rates fell by 35 percent from 2010 to 2015 when they implemented public health approaches with its Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, while national rates increased 14 percent within that same period. In Oakland, California, gun homicides and nonfatal shootings have fallen by 50 percent since 2012 as a result of a citywide violence intervention plan known as Oakland Ceasefire.