There are hopeful signs for Oakland’s problem with violence. A new program has begun which will bring volunteers to the roughest areas of the city to work with people on the street to reduce the violence there. The program is supported by state Senator Don Perata and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums. And the training for the volunteers will be done at Youth Uprising, the center we’ve been supporting here at Musingworld.
According to an Oakland Tribune article
The plan is to pull people from neighborhoods in Oakland and Richmond . . . give them some training in conflict resolution and make use of their real-life experiences to help each other on a common-ground level. These team members will then recruit additional volunteers.
And from an SF Chronicle story
The peacemakeers will have support from substance-abuse counselors, social workers and others. State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata raised $300,000 in private funding to support the program.
I’m glad to see some positive steps being taken in Oakland to deal with the violence that’s so serious in some of our neighborhoods. And I’m glad that our new mayor, Ron Dellums, is working on this project. I always appreciated his efforts in Washington when he was my congressman. Maybe he can bring that same energy and wisdom to his new local gig.
Finally, I continue to be impressed by Olis Simmons and the crew at Youth Uprising. They are really working hard to turn that area of the city around. This weekend we’re hosting a Musing house party to introduce a few friends and neighbors to the work of the YU center. If more people in our city get involved, we can make Oakland an even better place to live than it already is.