PLBC touts $30 million for community violence prevention

HARRISBURG, June 25 – Today the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus touted the $30 million included in the state budget which will go toward community violence prevention including fighting gun violence, according to state Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila.

Earlier this year, Bullock along with state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Amen Brown, both D-Phila., introduced H.B. 696 which provided for a similar community violence grant program. State Sen. Art Haywood, D-Phila., introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

“Gun violence is epidemic in scope but personal in nature,” Bullock said. “The families of loved ones who have lost their lives to gun violence have rallied with us and asked us as legislators to do something. This money is an investment to be used toward that next step in the work for which the PLBC has been laying the groundwork for years. This investment will finally help us move forward to begin investing in programs that we know will work and are led by people in our communities with boots on the ground.”

“Countless Pennsylvanians are carrying the physical and mental trauma of gun violence, with many experiencing the devastating effects daily,” Cephas said. “The funding is available for our legislature to become intentional with quelling this public health crisis. As lawmakers, it is our moral obligation to protect residents across this state, and the budget must reflect that. This will allocate the necessary funding to support and expand safety initiatives to ensure no community in our commonwealth continues to live in fear and it would save lives.”

“The rate at which our communities are experiencing gun violence is exceedingly high,” said Brown, PLBC subcommittee chairman on gun violence and public safety. “It is important that we do all we can to address this epidemic - recognizing that we will have to tackle this issue from different angles. One way to move us forward in addressing the gun violence that is traumatizing our neighborhoods is investing in our communities by allocating funds for violence prevention programs. We must do all that we can to change the direction of what's going on and to truly achieve transformational change. This is one of several acts we can take to take care of the places we call home.”

“This is a win for our communities that desperately need resources to curb gun violence,” Haywood said.