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Community Groups Unite to Stop Youth Violence

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Several community groups, as well as representatives from the offices of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Bian Kavanagh, have recently begun meeting – in search of solutions to youth violence on the Lower East Side. Flyers with the headline “State of Emergency” are being distributed in the neighborhood for the next meeting at 6:30pm, Thursday, October 8th. The community meeting will be held at the East Side Tabernacle Church, 245 East 2nd Street.

The church was the scene of a a dispute involving at least three dozen teenagers that apparently ended in  bottle-throwing and multiple arrests. At a recent community meeting held at the NYPD’s PSA 4 Precinct, several residents expressed concerns about a series of incidents, some deadly, involving teens and young adults. A longtime Lower East Side resident, Aida Salgado announced she and several other people were forming an organization called “Mothers in Action.”

During an organizational meeting held last week, the groups agreed on the need to establish more after school programs, provide job opportunities and offer other extra-curricular activities for kids. During the summer, The Chinatown Y opened up the Two Bridges Community Center and the Houston Street Center for basketball and other recreational activities. But, at the same time, the budgets at other community centers have been drastically cut back. The community liaisons representing Silver and Kavangh are doing what they can to help. Given the state’s dire economic situation, however, they will not have an easy time finding money for new programs.

If you would like to join Mothers in Action or want more information about next week’s meeting, call Aida Salgado at 646-853-7979

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