$1.3M more approved for Seattle violence-prevention project
A Seattle City Council committee voted to approve more funding for Mayor Greg Nickels' Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Seattle City Council committee agreed Tuesday to spend $1.3 million more on preventing youth violence, showing support for Mayor Greg Nickels' work on the issue.
Nickels' Youth Violence Prevention Initiative was announced last fall in response to rising violence among Seattle youth. Five teenagers were shot to death in Seattle in 2008, and city statistics show violence among young people has stayed relatively steady over the past several years even though there is less violent crime overall.
The goal for the first year is to cut by half the number of youths involved in violent incidents. The focus will be on 800 kids most at risk in Central, Southeast and Southwest Seattle. Some money pays for increased patrols and gang units, but a lot is aimed at prevention: education, mentorship programs, extended community-center hours and job opportunities for teens.
The council supported the mayor's plan last fall but held back some of the funding until more details were known.
The Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee voted Tuesday to release $1.3 million for the initiative, to add to the $2.7 million already approved by the council for 2009. The full council will vote Monday. An additional $3 million is proposed for 2010. Overall, the mayor's plan calls for about $9 million, $5.5 million of which is new spending.
Council members still had questions, and much of Tuesday's discussion centered on how to make sure the initiative is working. From now on, the mayor will brief the council every three months about the program.
"One reason that I'm excited about the initiative is that it's a start of something new that I'm excited about, and I don't expect it to be presto, for it all to be done," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Since September, Nickels has selected community organizations to run programs for youth in the three neighborhoods. Last week, the mayor introduced four police officers assigned to Seattle middle schools. The mayor is to announce an initiative director this week.
Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case
NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.