The Greensboro City Council didn’t appear to have much interest in the report on the Cure Violence program at the Tuesday, Dec. 6 meeting.
In Greensboro, the $400,000-a-year Cure Violence program is called the Gate City Coalition (GCC) and is run by City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson in her role as executive director of the nonprofit One Step Further. Johnson lobbied hard for the Cure Violence program to be managed by One Step Further but was recused from the votes to fund the project with $500,000 in 2019 and $400,000 in 2020.
Only two city councilmembers asked questions after the presentation on the 48-page report by the Serve Center at UNCG and neither question was about the presentation. Councilmember Sharon Hightower asked that Arthur Durham, who works for the GCC, be allowed to speak.
Durham made the interesting comment that Assistant City Manager Trey Davis “gave me a contract.”
Durham also said that the GCC had recently lost three of its seven employees, or over 40 percent of its staff. Durham said this had put a burden on the staff that remained who were overworked.
Durham also said, “If you properly fund this program and properly resource it, you can win.”
Holston asked what was needed to make a difference going forward.
Durham said, “We don’t have close to what we need.”
In the presentation by the Serve Center staff, it was explained that the Cure Violence program had not been in place long enough to see the expected results in violent crime reduction and that it would need to operate two to four years to see those results. Later in the report that time period was revised to three to five years.
The lack of success was also attributed by Durham to the fact that the national Cure Violence organization had not provided the proper training and supervision for 18 months. According to the contract, about $100,000 was supposed to go to the national Cure Violence organization for that training and supervision.