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Villaraigosa releases L.A. gang reduction plan

OW Staff | 4/23/2008, 5 p.m.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed a comprehensive reorganization of how the city of Los Angeles delivers gang reduction and youth services to provide clear lines of oversight, accountability and performance measures.
The goal of Villaraigosa's approach will target gang reduction services in L.A.'s most violent neighborhoods through Gang Reduction and Youth Development zones (GRYD zones) created by the Mayor last year. The 2009 budget proposal includes a 70 percent increase in funding for prevention and intervention services.
According to a statement issued by the Mayor's office, pooling resources in a coordinated manner will allow for greater efficiency, with nearly 90 percent of all dollars going to direct services.
The plan will expand the number of GRYD zones from eight to 12, with each zone receiving at least $1 million for prevention and $500,000 for intervention services. These zones will target the new services to the areas of highest gang crime. According to the latest statistics, gang crime in the 12 zones is nearly four times higher than it is in the rest of the L.A.
The four new zones include Southwest II, 77th Street Division II, Southeast/Watts and Panorama City/Mission.
The Mayor will also allocate $2.4 million for general prevention and intervention services in the areas not covered by the GRYD zones.
As part of the consolidation, L.A. Bridges I and II will be discontinued on Dec. 31, 2008, with the more than $13 million redirected to the Mayor's Office of GRYD.
Starting today, the Mayor's Office will issue new requests for proposals (RFPs) to provide $500,000 for prevention in six of the GRYD zones where City staff recently completed needs assessments. These RFPs are intended to appeal to organizations with proven and successful programs that address a full range of individual, family, peer, school and community factors contributing to high levels of juvenile delinquency and gang activity.
The GRYD zones targeted for services by the RFP are Baldwin Village/Southwest, Cypress Park/Northeast, Florence-Graham/77th Street, Newton, Pacoima/Foothill and Ramona Gardens/Hollenbeck.
The remainder of funding from L.A. Bridges I and II will be allocated and on the streets by Jan. 1, 2009. This will ensure that there will be no gap in direct services during the transition and consolidation period.
A citywide Gang Crisis Response team will also be created which will provide a full range of services and support to victims and survivors of gang violence.
A GRYD cabinet will be established to include leaders from the departments of Recreation and Parks, Cultural Affairs, Community Development, and other stakeholders.
The consolidation will refocus the services of Kid Watch and Young Women from Adversity to Resiliency (YWAR) to the new GRYD zones. In addition, the Commission on Children Youth and Their Families (CCYF) will move towards becoming a policy resource, instead of a program management agency.
In the final phase of this plan, Mayor Villaraigosa will establish a working group to develop a strategic framework for the services delivery system funded through the community development block grant (CDBG) program.