NEW YORK – U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, New York State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and City Council Member Kevin C. Riley issued the following statement on the need to invest in violence intervention funding and programs:

“Too often, we wake up to news of yet another violent incident or death in our community. It is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking that twice last week, the community saw violent incidents unfold at Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx — the first last Monday when a teenager was stabbed and several others were hurt by a car crash outside the school, and last Wednesday, when two additional students were stabbed. Every life is sacred, and what is especially disturbing about these incidents is that school grounds should always be a place of safety and security for our young people, especially while they are dealing with other compounding traumas.

“Our offices will continue to work with elected officials, community leaders, violence interrupters, parents, and students to end violent incidents like these, as well as addressing the epidemic of gun violence which also plagues our communities. We are urging that the City of New York utilize any and all gun violence prevention programs to combat the violence we’re seeing among young people. We are also urging Congress to pass the president’s Build Back Better Act, which contains $2.5 billion in funds for violence prevention and intervention nationwide. In the coming days, we will be holding a town hall with community members and local officials to chart a path forward and create and implement a collaborative plan to address the issue of community violence.”