From the Desk of New York State Senator Ted O’Brien

District 55
MEDIA RELEASE – FEB. 14, 2014:

ACTION FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY RECEIVES $281,600 STATE GRANT FOR ANTI-VIOLENCE EFFORTS
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien and fellow elected officials, including Mayor Lovely Warren, joined Action for a Better Community (A.B.C.) in announcing details surrounding a $281,600 grant that will target anti-violence efforts in the city’s northeast quadrant. “Gun violence has devastating effects beyond those directly involved, it affects the entire community,” said Naimah Sierra, deputy director of A.B.C.’s Division for Youth & Community Services. “It hit home in a personal way when an A.B.C. outreach worker, James Slater, lost his life to gun violence in October 2007. We know there is no single solution, no easy answer. But James Slater and dozens of others who have been caught up in this violence remind us that too much human potential is lost to violence. We must find new ways to reach out. This community-based initiative is an important first step to heal the hurt and the anger and to provide positive opportunities for our youth.” The grant will fund “violence interrupters,” outreach experts who will build connections with troubled youth, encourage nonviolent conflict resolution and try to prevent retaliatory attacks when violence does occur. “Violence’s insidious presence harms not only its victims but all members of our community,” Senator O’Brien said. “Living in an unsafe environment makes it more difficult for children to succeed in school, neighborhoods to attract new businesses and hardworking men and women to move up the economic ladder. When we fight violence, we not only save lives, we make it easier for local families and small businesses to thrive. As a State Senator, I am committed to securing resources for our region so that organizations like A.B.C. can continue their outstanding work and make our community even stronger.” Mayor Lovely A. Warren, a strong advocate for violence reduction initiatives in the city, also attended to express her support for the program. “I was happy to stand with Senator O’Brien today in support of Action For a Better Community," Mayor Warren said. "A.B.C. has done outstanding work for the citizens of Rochester for so many years. This new grant is great news, both for A.B.C., and for the city of Rochester. The new initiative that will be funded by the grant should play a significant role in reducing youth violence in Northeast Rochester.” Dr. John Klofas, Director of the Center for Public Safety Initiatives at R.I.T. and a nationally-recognized expert in his field, helped familiarize A.B.C. with the program. (cont’d)

From the Desk of New York State Senator Ted O’Brien
District 55
“This project is an important addition to the community's efforts to reduce violence,” Dr. Klofas said. “It fills a void between our long term prevention efforts and immediate law enforcement intervention approaches by adding a community perspective that seeks to prevent and interrupt violence in the near term -- to save lives tonight and this weekend. This is an important addition to outreach work by such groups as Pathways to Peace and the Center for Youth. Perhaps most important, it draws on a sound evidence-based foundation and will be subject to evaluation to assure that it is as effective as possible. With its long history of accomplishment and its strong links in the community, Action for a Better Community is the right choice to implement this program in Rochester.” More detailed information about the state program that brought this grant to Rochester is available in the original Request for Proposals: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/ofpa/pdfdocs/Neighborhood-Violence-Prevention-Project-RFP-8-2013.pdf -30Senator O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester. Action for a Better Community is a non-profit organization that strives to stimulate a better focusing of all available local, state, private and federal resources upon the goal of enabling low-income individuals of all ages, in rural and urban areas, to attain the skills, knowledge, and opportunities needed for them to become fully self sufficient. Media contact: Thomas J. Morrisey Communications Director office: (585) 218-0034 e-mail: tjmorris@nysenate.gov

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