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Community Meeting Tonight on Youth Violence

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As we reported last week, there will be a community meeting tonight at the East Side Tabernacle Church on East 2nd Street, to address growing concerns about youth violence in the neighborhood. After a series of incidents – including shootings, stabbings and other violent fights – several mothers formed an organization, "Mothers in Arms." The offices of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Daniel Squadron and the Manhattan District Attorney are working with the group to develop activities for young adults.

Tonight's meeting will be an opportunity to move forward with those plans – but the group also wants to use the event – promoted in flyers titled "State of Emergency" – to recruit more parents and kids to join with them in the search for positive solutions. In previous meetings, they began planning events, including a basketball tournament and a leadership breakfast for young girls.

Finding the money to support ongoing programs is expected to be challenging, especially given the state's worsening budget crisis. There are a large number of social service agencies with programs on the Lower East Side. But with a few exceptions, most of them are not geared towards the age group (17-24) at the greatest risk of becoming involved in violent crimes.

Tonight's meeting takes place at 630pm, at the East Side Tabernacle Church, 245 East 2nd Street. If you can't attend but would like to become involved with Mothers in Arms, call Aida Salgado at 646-853-7979.

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