Joe Mihevc – Ward 21 good and well though out response to current safety issues in Toronto

From the Ward 21 E-News Community Update
July 27, 2012

Dear Neighbours,

No one in this city should feel unsafe in their communities. A strong police response to this Summer’s tragic and senseless incidents of gun violence is appropriate and people involved in gun violence need to be apprehended. Additionally, I also believe we need to better understand and recognize the deeper causes of violence if we are going to make our neighbourhoods safer and healthier. Poverty, social marginalization, mental health, family breakdowns, lack of appropriate supports – these are all root causes of violence.

This is why we need supports, like afterschool programs, that help address these issues. After school programs, particularly for grades 7 to 12, keep kids engaged and empowered and less susceptible to gangs. Youth outreach workers provide mentorship and guidance for at-risk youth, helping youth find pathways to succeed. In June, City Council approved a motion I seconded to reinstate17 recently laid off youth outreach workers. Council will debate the youth outreach worker program’s continued funding during the 2013 budget process. Earlier this month, City Council approved the 2012 grant allocations for the City of Toronto’s Community Safety Investment Program. These grants fund organizations that promote safety in vulnerable neighbourhoods. Supports for schools and learning, recreation programs, mentors, places to turn in times of hardship – these are all part of the solution.

I believe the city also needs to restore funding for the 13 priority neighbourhoods. This would put resources, which have been pulled back under our current mayor, in places where community supports are minimal. All Torontonians benefit when we put energy and resources into community supports and programs because it makes us all safer and stronger. I will work to these ends.

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