Zahilay, King County Council Invest $2 Million Into Gun Violence Prevention

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay Gun violence is on the rise in Seattle and King County. According to reports, shooting incidents in King County increased by 15 percent in 2020. The number of victims who were injured but survived a shooting increased by 34 percent, and victims who were fatally shoot increased 58 percent. Last week, The King County Council approved the creation of a new gun violence prevention grant program, as part of their $94.3 million in COVID-19 relief funding unanimously approved by the council. The $2 million program, sponsored by King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, funded from the County’s general fund, calls for community-based organizations to solicit grants to support data-driven grassroots efforts that promote public safety and reduce violence, especially among young people. “We need to respond [to the increased violence in South King County],” says Zahilay. “And my legislation, my amendment would create a program where community-based violence interrupters and community-based public safety groups can apply for resources and support them in work that they are already doing.” In recent weeks, there have been two shootings in South Seattle alone. Although violence has always been prevalent in society, advocates claim that the rise in violence has become a symptom within a pandemic giving communities just another adversity to address. “COVID-19 has devastated our economy, eliminated thousands of jobs, laid people off, created hardship, led people to become unhoused, trapped people with their abusers,” Zahilay said. “And all of these things mean we have to give […]

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