Released from the City on 6/25:

Last week, I convened a meeting of community leaders to discuss two overarching questions: how do we address gun violence in our community, and how do we address issues causing concern about crime? The conversation during and since that meeting has been very productive and promising. That meeting was the continuation of the ongoing dialogue aimed at developing, implementing and evaluating our responses.

Today I am outlining specific steps we can take to address public safety concerns on the Southwest side of Madison. These initiatives are not limited to one part of the city, but are tools to address safety concerns throughout our community.

Most importantly, our efforts cannot be limited to things that are initiated in City government. At our meeting last week, Florenzo Cribbs reported on an effort he had already started to provide positive role models for young African American males. Ernie Horinek talked about his idea to create a “think tank” of area landlords. And Reverend David Smith volunteered to get his fellow clergy even more involved. All of these things came from the community and, in the end, it will be the community that solves these problems. City government can sometimes provide resources, but the most effective responses will not be designed or led solely by the City, but by the residents themselves.

So I have grouped ideas into three parts. One part addresses the specific issue of gun violence, a second builds on the initiatives we have already been taking, and a third and most crucial part suggests community-driven initiatives, some of which the City can partner on….

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*Also, note that the next Neighborhood Quarterly Safety Meeting is this Monday, June 29 at 7 PM – West Police District Station. 1710 McKenna Blvd.