A new National League of Cities toolkit on “Preventing Gang Violence and Building Communities Where Young People Thrive” is available to municipal leaders and community partners. To download the toolkit or order a copy, visit www.nlc.org/iyef. The toolkit draws on lessons learned over the past three years from the California Cities Gang Prevention Network. The 13-city network was formed in 2007. Nearly all cities have developed a comprehensive gang reduction plan that blends prevention, intervention, and enforcement techniques.
The League of Cities says that strong collaborations found in many of the network cities make it easier to blend multiple federal, state and local funding sources that can be used for gang prevention. San José's Bringing Everyone's Strengths Together (BEST) attracts funding from state gang prevention grants; mental health and drug prevention grants; federal and state juvenile justice grants; community development and housing funds; and various city funding streams. Cities like Oakland rely on combinations of dedicated local sales taxes; private foundation grants; Community Development Block Grants; statewide gang prevention funds; Workforce Investment Act funds; state- and county-controlled funds for juvenile crime prevention and child abuse prevention, and other resources.