Sacramento, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday he will triple gun violence prevention funding in a major win for California Assemblymember Buffy Wicks as well as activists’ push to strengthen the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) programs.
In conjunction with the budget ask, Wicks authored Assembly Bill 1603 to establish the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program in statue and ensure its funding is spent on proven programs in communities with the greatest need.
With over 9,980 shootings resulting in over 3,000 deaths each year — gun violence in California exacts a high physical, emotional, and financial toll on families and communities across the state. Gun violence also comes at a huge expense to California’s economy — over $6.5 billion annually — with $1.4 billion in costs paid directly by California taxpayers.
“I applaud Governor Newsom for his significant increase in CalVIP funding,” said Wicks. “This is a major investment in the future of our state and a firm commitment to communities most affected by the tragedy of gun violence. I am committed to continuing to fight for full funding of these programs though the legislative budget process because CalVIP programming will not only save lives — it will save taxpayer dollars by investing on the front end for dramatic reductions in violent crime.”
Wicks will be working be working with her colleagues in the coming months to secure additional funding bringing the total to $39 million for the year.
“I am incredibly grateful to my partners in the gun violence prevention movement, notably Giffords, Moms Demand Action and the organizations within my district — Advance Peace and YouthAlive!,” said Wicks. “These are the folks on the ground and the leaders for progress and safety, I am honored to be serving in the Assembly and furthering their work.”
The California Violence Intervention and Prevention grant program is administered by the Board for State and Community Corrections (BSCC) and provides competitive grants to cities and nonprofit organizations implementing evidence-based violence reduction initiatives in heavily impacted communities. Banner programs for CalVIP include Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire and The Advance Peace initiative in Richmond.
Starting in 2010, Operation Peacemaker and other violence prevention strategies in Richmond resulted in a 56% drop in homicides and positive economic impact of $500 million over five years. By 2014, the city saw the fewest number of people shot and killed in Richmond in 40 years. Launched in 2012, Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire saw similar success with a 43% drop in homicides and 49% drop in non-fatal shootings.
AB 1603 is supported by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Advance Peace, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Brady United Against Gun Violence, California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Children’s Defense Fund, City of Stockton, Community Justice Action Fund, Cure Violence, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Every Child Foundation, Every Town for Gun Safety, Faith in Action, Health Dialogue and Action, Legacy LA, Moms Demand Action, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, Public Health Advocates, Toberman Neighborhood Center, Urban Peace Institute and Youth Alive!.
Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D – Oakland, 15th District)