Good news from the Controller's office on one of our most important initiatives, the Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program.
Their just-released audit shows that GRYD has radically changed the way City Hall fights gang violence, implemented all but 1 out of 109 blueprint recommendations, and, best of all, brought gang crime down.
That's great progress.
Since our efforts started two years ago, gang-related crime has dropped 10.7% inside the 12 GRYD Zones. And at our Summer Night Lights parks, gang-related violence was reduced by 18% in the summer of 2008 and by 11% in the summer of 2009.
Now is the time to take the next step, and evaluate exactly which programs and services are causing the drop in gang violence.
The Urban Institute has been monitoring our efforts for over a year, and within the next 30 days will release the first of many reports evaluating our progress. We will use these reports to improve upon our already nationally-recognized anti-gang programs.
Our goal is to keep our children out of gangs and get them onto the path to a bright future. Our GRYD programs are reducing violence, changing the culture and bureaucracy at City Hall, and giving kids a way out of the gang life and keeping them from joining in the first place.
This is how we're stopping the cycle of gang violence that has plagued our city for too long. Read more about GRYD here.
Follow Antonio Villaraigosa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/villaraigosa