Maya Wiley knows that, after COVID-19, there is a second deadly pandemic battering our city: gun violence. In 2020, the Police Department recorded 1,531 shootings— almost double the 777 recorded in 2019 — and 468 people were killed, the most since 2011. Shootings have continued their sharp rise this year, jumping to 416 at the end of April, a tragic, 83 percent increase from the same point last year.
Maya sees this crisis for what it is: a public health emergency that requires immediate and bold solutions. That is why her plan to address gun violence was the very first policy she put out when she launched her campaign last year, because she knows how urgent this moment is.
We are at risk of losing an entire generation of young people to violence and a lack of opportunity. It’s time to address this surge of gun violence by targeting this crisis at its roots, so that every New Yorker can walk our streets in peace and with dignity, so that it’s easier to get a job than a gun, and so that no parent ever again has to wonder if their children will be safe when they leave the house.
To accomplish this, a Wiley Administration will:
- Empower and support communities who have been directly impacted to point to innovative and targeted solutions to gun violence that reflect their local conditions and experiences.
- Recognize that gun violence is linked to a lack of educational and employment opportunities and increase access to these opportunities.
- Launch and expand evidence-based therapeutic supportive programs to reduce gun violence.
- Commit to real and effective public safety efforts that get guns off the streets.
To empower and support communities who have been directly impacted, we will:
- Establish a Participatory Justice Fund, so those closest to the problem can identify and implement innovative solutions to reduce gun violence by investing in existing and impactful community based work.
- Create an $18 million participatory justice process in communities struggling to stem gun violence. Akin to participatory budgeting, the participatory justice fund would allocate funds to communities identified by their rates of gun violence and support a democratic process to support existing and new programs that have proven track records.
To reduce gun violence through increased education and employment, we will:
- Create and expand priority placements for youth and young adults at risk in communities experiencing high rates of gun violence in existing workforce development and education programs.
- Double the number of slots allocated to youth at risk of involvement with violence in the Summer Youth Employment Program, resulting in 10,000 slots designated for young people.
To expand evidence-based public health violence reduction models, we will:
- Employ proven approaches to match programs to individuals with the highest risk and need, Ensuring credible, trusted outreach staff from affected communities are responsible for program recruitment and provision.
- Invest in programming that includes well-implemented trauma-informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and intensive mentorship.
- Expand community-based violence interruption and hospital based violence interruption programs (HVIPs) to public health facilities with the largest share of assault and gunshot wound patients.
To commit to community-focused public safety efforts, we will:
- Reduce the NYPD budget by $1 billion and invest those funds directly into the communities most impacted by gun violence.
- Reform school safety efforts to be a holistic commitment to supporting the well-being of students rather than punitive and reactive measures.
- Launch Citywide Safe Corridors, aimed at disrupting and preventing violence that occurs in the hours right before and after school when youth are largely unsupervised.
- Expand Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) programs in schools.