PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As violence in Philadelphia ramps up, so do efforts to stop it. On Friday, anti-violence advocates in Philadelphia are pushing for the city to give $100 million to stop gun violence in the city.
The rally comes as more than 500 people have been shot in Philadelphia this year to date and over 120 of them have died.READ MORE: Giant Supermarket Chain Opening 4 New Stores In Philadelphia, Hiring 700 Employees
“We need to make a lasting change,” one advocate said.
Dozens of anti-violence advocates gathered outside of Philadelphia City Hall on Friday afternoon, some carrying signs like “enough is enough.”
“Our communities are traumatized,” former state Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell said.
“We’re tired of feeling like we’re not safe of being on our own blocks,” an advocate said.
Many here want anti-violence measures to be a priority in the mayor’s upcoming budget.
“We’re asking for $100 million to be invested in our communities to create programs to fight against gun violence,” Kallel Edwards with CeaseFirePA said.
Advocates believe $100 million could dramatically curb shootings in the city if the money goes toward violence intervention programs, youth groups and more.READ MORE: Philadelphia Officials Expected To Provide Update On Reopening Timeline Tuesday, Sources Say
“We need to invest in school-based violence reduction programs that can provide mentorship and conflict resolution and job training,” Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier said.
As Philadelphia’s skyrocketing murder rate is now expected to become a record-breaker this year, those at the rally believe violence prevention is needed now more than ever.
“We cannot wait another day,” one man said.
“Now is the time to invest in our communities,” Edwards said.
Mayor Kenney is expected to release his budget proposal next Thursday. The mayor released a statement on the gun violence on Friday.
“Mayor Kenney and the Administration continue to engage in conversations with community members, grassroots organizations and stakeholders with a variety of views on the City’s investments in public safety.
We are committed to as much investment possible to reduce the heartbreaking violence that has taken so many lives and drastically altered many more.
This work is newly realigned and is now carried out by the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety and updated strategies that support the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities.MORE NEWS: 13-Year-Old Among Injured In Allentown Triple Shooting
The Mayor will have much more to say about funding our anti-violence initiatives when he presents his new budget and Five Year Plan to City Council on April 15.”