Friday, August 27, 2004

Ross Mirkarimi is getting out in front on an issue that few District 5 candidates are taking seriously enough: the wave of gun violence in the Western Addition and the Haight Ashbury this year. If the rest of the candidates don't get on board this issue with the likes of Bill Barnes, Joe Blue and now Mirk, they might as well forget about it (The D5 Collaborative is on this one, but it should be high on the agenda of every individual candidate, especially the quality-of-lifers - if you've got 'em, send your points over, and they'll be posted.). ... On Friday, the DA investigator laid out a set of policy bullet points that deserves careful attention:

"* Legislate Community Policing Standards: Routine foot patrols; Recruitment of officers from the communities they serve; Upgrade community training programs for new officers during the field training phase (FTO); Tailor and standardize specific expectations between each neighborhood police station and the community it serves.

* Expand first-source hiring, which offers a certain percentage of jobs to San Francisco youth who are of qualifying age (for example, part-time job creation for youth in the Panhandle Farmer's Market).

* Create an entrepreneurship-vocational program between small businesses and district residents will provide employment opportunities and skills training.

* Establish supportive after-school and night-time programs for youth.

* Hold the Housing Authority accountable so that the city does not lose millions of dollars in federal funding.

* Fully implement the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). If the city accepted JDAI principles as policy, we could more effectively treat pre-and-post-adjudicated youth.

* Reform the budget process to hold budget hearings (in the district) well before the Mayor's budget is released and mandate delineation of District Resources for Public Safety and Crime Prevention Programs.

* Increase lighting on streets in Western Addition (like Buchanan) and other areas.

* Contract to community-based organizations to offer innovative programming that more effectively engage youth through the Recreation and Parks Department.

* Create a victim support center that provides assistance to all who are affected by violence. This support center would offer assistance to families who need to relocate after an incident. It would allocate resources to the Housing Authority to offer services to community members within its facilities.

* Institute the Community Assessment Referral Center as the central intake system for all youth who are arrested. This would minimize the amount of youth who serve time in the Youth Guidance Center, and it would refer youth to community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration."

More on the Web.

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