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Mayor de Blasio Announces Nearly $9 Million in Funding to Support Brownsville Following Mass Shooting

August 6, 2019

Funding will support youth, health, and anti-violence services in the community

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Johnson and Council Members Barron and Ampry-Samuel announced nearly $9 million in new funding in support of the Brownsville community Tuesday, following the mass shooting on July 27 that resulted in 11 injuries and one fatality during the annual Old Timers Day community event.

The new funding will bolster and expand services supported by the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) in the wake of the violence. This includes $5.2 million for the renovation of the Brownsville Houses Community Center, a MAP site, and $140,000 for new NYPD security cameras and public lighting around the Brownsville Playground facility. Lighting will be fully installed by December 2019. The NYPD has installed two cameras and will make additional upgrades by the end of the year.

“Our hearts ache for Brownsville; but this community will be defined by resilience, not tragedy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These programs will build on our commitment to end the epidemic of gun violence and lend much needed support to the local leaders and activists who work to bring positive, enduring change to the Brownsville community each and every day.“

"The mass shooting in Brownsville was a tragedy. As a City, we must do everything we can to stop this kind of violence from ever happening in our communities. I am proud today to announce this funding to support gun violence prevention programs, increase safety, and heal the wounds left by the horrific and senseless shooting," said Speaker Corey Johnson

“I am pleased to acknowledge and support the Mayor’s additional funding to the Brownsville community, said Council Member Inez Barron.  “In particular: 1) the increased funding for the prevention of gun violence by trained persons from the community who are acknowledged as experienced and effective in dispelling violence; 2) funding to the Department of Heath acknowledging this type of violence as a health crisis; 3) opportunities to train youth to engage in peacekeeping and anti-bullying efforts; and 4) additional staffing at the Brownsville Recreational Center which will increase programming activities and improve the ratio of adult to youth interaction.  This initiative is a much needed response to conditions in the neighborhood that are manifestations of longstanding circumstances and systemic oppression which have negatively impacted the social dynamics of our community.  We look forward to further improvements, initiatives and job opportunities to help restore our neighborhoods.”

“Brownsville has had its share of challenges over the years but continued to remain resilient through it all.  The mass shooting on July 27th shook us to our core and was evidence of the need for funding resources. I’m glad the voices of the community are being heard and those doing the work will get the support needed on the ground; while partnering with city agencies,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

On top of $5.2 million in capital funds, an additional $3.24 million will go to build on the effective anti-violence and community-building efforts already integrated into the Brownsville community. These include:

  • $1 million in annual funding to expand the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence’s successful Crisis Management System violence disruption program in Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct.
  • $1 million to increase the capacity of the Department of Health’s Brooklyn Neighborhood Health Action Center (NHAC) to plan, prepare, and respond to incidents and systemic crises, including community violence, extreme weather, and environmental hazards, such as fires and building collapses.
  • $590,000 for Brownsville Neighborhood YouthStat, a youth centered version of MAP’s NeighborhoodStat, which trains young people in community organizing and engagement, peacemaking, and crime prevention through environmental design, and a suite of mental health and trauma response skills.
  • $175,000 for a Mobile Trauma Unit, part of a fleet of police precinct-specific van that provides access to available trauma resources and services, to help reduce and prevent shooting incidents and other acts of violence through swift, coordinated responses to immediate crisis incidents by providing increase.
  • $576,000 to hire 12 additional staff for the Brownsville Recreation Center to provide additional recreational programming, expanded pool operating hours, and additional security.

The investments directly in the Brownsville community will provide much needed City resources in helping the community heal from recent violence, while continuing to build on the foundation laid by residents’ long-standing efforts of creating a safer Brownsville for all.

First organized in 1963, the annual Old Timers Day event provides the Brownsville community with a special opportunity to celebrate the contributions and impact of its elders, while inviting neighbors of all ages to partake in a fun, family friendly annual summer event.

"The community’s response in the hours and days that followed is a testament to years of effort by community members and government partners to build support systems—in the form of anti-gun intervention, youth engagement, violence interruption training, and other ground-up solutions—that help empower residents," said Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. "Government and Brownsville residents working together to build a better future is a model for the kind of change that can be accomplished."

The people of Brownsville are and have always been at the center of making their community safer and stronger,” said Renita Francois, executive director of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. “We are committed to deepening our partnership with and support for the residents and organizations that make Brownsville the rich neighborhood it is. These investments will serve to strengthen key aspects of the City’s approach to making the public central to public safety, including our youth, local organizations and physical infrastructure in the Brownsville community.”

"The community’s resiliency, strength, and brilliance was and remains on full display in the aftermath of the heartbreaking mass shooting in Brownsville," said Eric Cumberbatch, executive director of the Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence. "Today’s announcement of increased resources to Brownsville is a huge step forward at addressing systemic root causes that allow violence to pervade. Empowered residents leading the efforts of recovery, healing and ultimately shaping what the co-production of public safety in New York City is all about. The Office to Prevent Gun Violence stands in solidarity with our city’s richest resource, its people, the people of Brownsville."

“Mass shootings as seen in Brownsville have plagued communities across and nation. Fortunately, we’ve seen significant progress in New York City by funding anti-violence groups who can help prevent shooting before they take place. We have to resist the temptation to overuse police to solve this, and keep doing what we know works, so I would like to thank the Mayor’s office for further investing in the essential organizations, which will help holistically address the issue moving forward,“ said Public Adocate Jumaane Williams.

“New York’s neighborhoods are resilient and we all play a role in supporting community healing from the trauma of violence,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “This funding will allow all of us to operationalize a trauma informed approach to prevent and respond to crises in collaboration with affected community partners. The City’s approach to comprehensively address the impacts of violence will have a durable influence on the health of New Yorkers.” 

“I am heartened that much needed capital and programmatic resources are being directed to help safeguard Brownsville against gun violence”, said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “Brownsville knows the devastation that communities across America are now experiencing in trying to recover from gun violence, it is my sincere hope that these new funding initiatives coincide with enacting more comprehensive laws across the nation”.

"For years, while the city's funds for policing have steadily risen, funding to address the root causes of violence have been a drop in the bucket, said State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie. “This new funding marks a welcome investment in the holistic and community-driven anti-violence work that brings our communities help and hope they need.”

“These past few days have been a true testament of the resiliency and strength of Brownsville and Brooklyn. Our community has been tested and as a result, we came together to find solutions to combat gun violence, said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. “This is a time where the entire country is watching and we have to hold our representatives accountable. I am extremely grateful that Mayor de Blasio acknowledged this tragedy as a mass shooting so that our community can have access to these vital resources. The Brownsville community will be receiving nearly 9 million dollars in resources to build on health and anti-violence services.”

“As we celebrate National Night Out Against Crime, it is important to recognize in the wake of the Brownsville mass shooting at Old Timers Day, the community came together to have a constructive dialogue about how to move forward. These investments being announced today show that we are backing up words with action, taking concrete steps to prevent these kinds of tragedies. I believe we must continue to invest in our Crisis Management System so we can get into the crevices of this crisis with community support. We can end the gun violence plaguing our communities with a smart, targeted, and collaborative approach,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

"The mass shooting at the yearly Old Timers Day event, which many of my constituents were looking forward to, was a tragedy for Brownsville and for all of New York City" said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “Despite overall low crime numbers, our communities are still suffering from the effects of gun violence. There is so much more work that needs to be done to end gun violence in NYC and I'm thankful for the steps the Mayor is taking to get it done. More great investments like these are needed to prevent another incident from hurting our community."

“It’s fortunate for the community of Brownsville to receive coordinated resources they have been in need of for so long. This infusion of support will amplify and capture the true essence of Brownsville.” said AT Mitchell, Man Up!

“Today is a great day for Brownsville and what we as a community represent –resiliency, love and strength.” said Ronald Robertson, Brownsville Think Thank Matters

“The Brownsville community, now more than ever welcomes additional resources to help further advance public safety,” said Anthony Newerls, Brownsville in Violence Out (BIVO)

“Elite Learners, Inc is thankful to the DeBalsio Administration for designating the Old Timers Day shooting as a mass shooting and for the subsequent funding that has come along as a result of the designation, said Camara Jackson, Elite Learners. “Elite will be sure to use the resources to serve to the community in light of the tragedy we recently faced.”

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