U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff says he is working to secure funding to “curb the increase of violence in Georgia and nationwide.”
In a letter written to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last week, Senator Dick Durbin, and Senator Patty Murray, Sen. Ossoff urged the inclusion of at least $5 billion in the upcoming budget reconciliation package to support evidence-based intervention programs to reduce violence across the nation.
“While there is no single cause of or solution to crime rates, we know that there are evidence-based community violence intervention (CVI) strategies that make our communities safer,” Sen. Ossoff wrote. “The success of these programs and the number of lives they can save, however, depends on robust and sustained funding. I urge you to support these life-saving efforts in budget reconciliation legislation.”
In the letter, Sen. Ossoff cited model programs like Atlanta’s Cure Violence program, which trains community members and leaders impacted by gun violence to help interrupt retaliatory violence through mediation and conflict resolution.
Atlanta has seen a nearly 60% increase in homicides in 2021 over this time last year, which was already a historically deadly year for the city. Other cities across Georgia, from Columbus to Savannah, are also seeing spikes in violence.
From the press release:
Sen. Ossoff has remained focused on reducing violence in Georgia and nationwide. In March, he pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray to more thoroughly analyze the drivers of increased violence and later secured a commitment from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to increase efforts to reduce violence and address the root causes of violent crime.
This week, in a follow-up conversation with Wray, Sen. Ossoff secured answers on what key factors are driving the national increase in violence.
In June, Sen. Ossoff secured a commitment from Anne Milgram, nominated by President Biden to serve as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to coordinate with local officials to reduce levels of crime in Georgia.