For months and months, Guilford County commissioners have been talking about the wisdom of implementing Cure Violence – a proposed program meant to reduce violence in high-crime, inner-city areas – and this week Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston said he expects to see much more clarity on the county’s intentions within the next two weeks.
The proposal currently on the table calls for the City of Greensboro and Guilford County to contribute about $300,000 each to establish the program under the Greensboro non-profit One Step Further Inc. Alston said it’s a no-brainer that the county should move forward on Cure Violence. He said it’s an effective program that’s badly needed to reduce shootings and violent crime in the county.
Alston, a Democrat, added that he hopes the Republican majority on the Board of Commissioners will support the plan, but he said he’s been shocked that they haven’t been more enthusiastic about the program so far.
According to Alston, the details of the proposal are being finalized and it will soon be time to decide the matter.
“They’re trying to get a contract worked out with the city and the county and One Step Further,” Alston said, “They’re working out the details.”
Alston said a recent vote by the five white Republican commissioners on another matter has caused him concern about their willingness to fund a Cure Violence program in Guilford County: Recently, the five white Republican county commissioners voted to award a $12-million construction contract to a company that had no black-owned business participation in its proposal. Alston said the decision to approve that contract was ludicrous and he added that it made him question whether those Republican commissioners cared about black people.
“Why would the Republican’s not be supporting Cure Violence – other than they don’t care about black people?” Alston said.
He said citizens wanted the program, the City of Greensboro appears to be on board, and Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers and other law enforcement officials have signed off on it.
“If the situation were reversed, I wouldn’t have to think twice,” Alston said. “Most of the people getting killed are black; but if the white, male Republicans came to me and said a lot of white people in their districts were getting killed, there’s no question I would support it for them – I wouldn’t even hesitate.”
Alston said Guilford County’s portion of the money would come from the Inmate Welfare Fund. That money originates largely from charges on collect phone calls made from the jail by inmates.
“It’s not even our fund – it’s the Inmate Welfare Fund,” Alston said. “It’s not taxpayer money.”
Alston said the board still had to make sure that Inmate Welfare Fund money was spent well, but he asked: What better purpose could it serve than saving lives?
Commissioner Carolyn Coleman – who this week called the vote on the large construction contract by the white Republican commissioners “a shame and a disgrace” – also said it’s time for Guilford County to move forward on the Cure Violence program that she said is badly needed.
The Guilford County commissioners who have expressed reservations about implementing Cure Violence say their concerns have nothing to do with race, but instead have everything to do with whether or not the program is effective, whether that money could be better spent combating violence in other ways, and their concerns about liability issues for the county and potential dangers to Cure Violence staff.
If these former thugs care about the kids or the community let them VOLUNTEER their time. What a ridiculous idea this whole program is! Lets pay gang members to recruit kids on the down low with our tax money under the premise of helping the community. Just brilliant Mr. Alston!
Mr. Alston seems to be confused. The inmate welfare fund is most certainly taxpayer dollars! It became the taxpayers’ money when the county programs such as the commissions from jail commissary sales & phone calls generated the revenue. I don’t see how that is so hard to figure out.
Ugh, this guy is a race-baiting clown! Clearly his only intention is to make EVERY issue solely about race. Who can take this guy seriously when he honestly says that a vote on a construction contract means that Republicans don’t care about “black people” or rampant gun violence in Greensboro…what a hack.
Blacks can’t handle anything as simple as voter ID. Why would anyone think that they can handle something as serious as curing violence in their own community. Money is NOT a cure for violence.
We read the headlines about the shootings daily, but that still doesnt make this about guns. Remember what Mark Robinson said while addressing the City Council. If the law changes and we are required to relinquish our firearms and do so as law abiding citizens, these thugs will still have theirs. They will find a way to get them and terrorize the community. I take it one step further, if firearms were not available to these thugs do you really believe they wouldn’t pick up a blade or a pipe and continue doing what they’re doing?
The problem starts at home. We need solid families. Men & women with morals raising their children together. Our welfare system was designed to be a temporary bridge to opportunities, not a crutch or a constant handout. We need a serious reform of welfare and social programs that have gotten out of hand. The community needs to step up to make it work. Those that are able bodied that simply refuse to work or help out should lose that revenue stream. The best way to get on your feet is to get off your butt.
Maybe we should put Confederate statues on street corners all over town soo that these violent people can tear down and beat up the statues. Would that not cure the violence? I know that is stupid but there are people who think that destroying statues will make the area more peaceful. Watching the violence of this kind of activity makes me see the true nature of people who use their time and energy is such a negative way. Violence can not be cured.