Dozens meet with Lt. Gov. Hochul to discuss solutions to violence in Yonkers
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Yonkers Wednesday to meet with local leaders as the city mourns another death due to gun violence.
Finding a solution to the scourge in gun violence has been at the top of Jim Bostic's mind.
Bostic, of the Nepperhan Community Center, says he remembers years past when shootings were out of control in Yonkers.
"It started with a shooting here and a shooting there and went unaddressed and before you know it, it escalated into a really big problem," says Bostic.
He and dozens of local stakeholders discussed solutions to the violence with Hochul at the Riverfront Library in Yonkers.
"What we need to do, and the governor mentioned that, is treat this like our response to the pandemic with intensity, with strong sense of purpose," he says.
The state is tackling gun violence by pinpointing cluster zones.
It has identified 10 ZIP codes in Yonkers, Mount Vernon and Spring Valley that have been hit the hardest, and are providing summer jobs for 253 youth aged 15 to 24 in those cluster zones - and 580 long-term jobs.
The state is also creating youth summer programs and hiring new violence interveners to work in these communities.
"We believe if we have a targeted approach to let them know there are jobs available or healthy summer recreation sporting activities to give them an alternative to the streets and give them an alternative to violence," says Hochul.
The summer jobs are immediately available.
It's something local leaders like Yonkers Councilwoman Tasha Diaz says sounds good on paper but needs follow-up analysis.
"The lieutenant governor has assured us that we will come back and meet here at another roundtable to make sure the initiative that we are putting into place are going to be effective," says Diaz.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced $1.1 million in funding to reduce gun violence in the lower Hudson Valley.
It will be used to give job training to unemployed out of school youth ages 18-24.
Some of the cities receiving this funding include Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and Yonkers.