President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan also aims to deploy more than $5 billion to support community-based violence prevention programs, reports NPR. During his campaign, Biden had promised to devote $900 million over eight years to fund evidence-based community violence prevention efforts in 40 cities across the country. It is not yet clear how the money would be allocated, and the package still must move through Congress, where Democrats have a slim House majority and the Senate is split 50-50, giving Vice President Kamala Harris a tie-breaking vote.
Susan Rice, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council said the administration included this funding in the infrastructure plan because the package’s goal is to give all Americans the infrastructure to compete and succeed. “And part of that means taking care of those who live in our urban environments, where gun violence and violence in the community is a major impediment to economic activity and to economic growth and is obviously costing the lives of many, many innocents,” Rice said. “That is essential to the well-being of our country as a whole.” Rice said that she believes that investments in community violence prevention should be directed toward “local organizations with proven track records for success,” including the types of assistance that are often referred to as “wraparound services” that address the inequities that make gun violence more likely.