D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday outlined her fiscal 2022 budget proposal’s $59 million investment in reducing the city’s gun violence and building safer neighborhoods.

Bowser, who made the announcement at the Douglass Community Center while joined by city officials and gun-violence prevention advocates, said the investment would be part of the city’s Building Blocks DC program, a multi-agency initiative aiming to prevent gun violence and support residents and communities most affected by gun violence.

“We don’t want people out on our streets involved in gunplay,” Bowser said. “We want them involved in jobs, and school, and enjoying life with friends and family. And we know that is what our residents most at risk of violence want, too. These investments in Building Blocks DC will support not just a whole-of-government approach to building safer neighborhoods, but a whole-of-community approach. This work is urgent, and by making the right investments we can save lives and send a message to our residents that, together, we can, we must, and we will do more to reduce gun violence.”

The mayor’s #FairShot FY22 budget proposal will also include $11.4 million to support returning citizens with financial assistance through community-based organizations, financial coaching, and peer navigators as they transition back to the community; $6.8M for DDOT, DPW and other organizations to respond to non-emergency 911 calls for mental health distress, minor traffic crashes, and parking complaints.

Also included in the initiative are two types of grants — $5,000 mini-grants will be awarded to individuals to create activities that engage residents, leaders, and organizations in promoting public safety, and $50,000 grants earmarked for entities or organizations that will create innovative programs to reduce gun violence in the District of Columbia.

To learn more about or to apply for the BBDC grants, go to oca.dc.gov/page/building-blocks-dc.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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