Washington, D.C. – National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony issued the following statement in response to the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of its comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety:
“The National League of Cities supports the efforts outlined by the Biden-Harris Administration, which align with several NLC priorities to address crime in our communities. Municipalities across the country are facing a troubling rise in violent crime and we urgently need holistic and integrated solutions to help make our communities safer.
“Local leaders know that addressing violence requires tackling the systemic and complex causes that destabilize communities and undermine public safety efforts. Rising violence is driven by many factors, including income disparities, poverty, lack of economic mobility, poor housing conditions, hate and discrimination and lack of access to health services, among others. Keeping guns from flowing into our communities is just one part of the solution – we must also invest in communities that have faced long-standing divestments that compound social and economic insecurity while ensuring that our public safety initiatives do not disproportionately target communities of color.
“NLC is committed to partnering with the Biden-Harris Administration to help local leaders reimagine the way they provide public safety services. We are helping local leaders respond, recover, and rebuild more prosperous, equitable, and diverse communities and hope to work with our federal partners to find solutions that address the root causes of violence.”
NLC supports several key proposals that would help to address underlying causes of crime, including:
- Working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to partner with local leaders to increase the availability of affordable housing in communities;
- Working with the Department of Labor to help local leaders provide vocational job training assistance to their residents to ensure they have the labor force necessary to help respond, recover, and rebuild;
- Ensuring that the Department of Health and Human Services directs federal grant dollars provided to the States for substance use prevention and treatment to support local programs; and
- Delivering additional federal support to local governments to implement violence interrupter and behavioral health responder programs to support a public health approach to re-imagining public safety and reducing violence.
For resources on how state and local governments can reimagine public safety and justice reform, please click here.
For information on NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, please click here.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.