Governor Tom Wolf today was joined by Democratic legislative champions for gun violence prevention and local advocates fighting against gun violence to highlight his $355 million commitment to safer communities in Pennsylvania.
At Mander Playground, where the community has seen gun violence-fueled bloodshed firsthand, Gov. Wolf announced the availability of $100.5 million to support effective community violence intervention efforts across Pennsylvania.
“I’ve committed $355 million and taken as much executive action as I can throughout the course of my administration to prevent more bloodshed, and more tears shed, in this commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “Pennsylvanians deserve to live their lives without gun violence-induced fear. With continued creativity, investments, and partnerships, safer communities are within reach.”
Through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), two new violence intervention programs are now open. Gov. Wolf secured record-funding for PCCD in his final budget.
The $85.5 million Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Program is open for community organizations, municipalities, institutions of higher education, and district attorneys to request funding for a wide variety of programs that address community violence and prevention efforts. Grant awards can range from $25,000 to $2.5 million to support project activities over a 29-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes October 12, 2022.
A new program, the $15 million Coordinated Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Strategies Pilot Program, aims to invest in collaborative community violence prevention and response strategies within focused service areas. This new initiative will support five to eight pilot projects that will pursue transformative strategies to prevent and respond to violence. Eligible applicants can request up to $3 million to launch and implement a pilot project over a 32-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes October 31, 2022.
“The community groups working tirelessly to combat violence told us they needed more resources: we heard them and are answering those calls,” said Senator Vincent Hughes. “Eighteen months ago, there was no money in this space. A year ago, we were able to invest $45 million in these groups. We cannot wait to see the life-changing work these groups are able to accomplish.”
“Philadelphia is supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love, but we are not living up to that name,” said Representative Amen Brown. “Our communities are suffering and young people are dying due to senseless acts of gun violence. We have to do our part as elected officials to invest in our people and our communities. We can only do that by ensuring gun violence prevention programs are accessible to youth to show them that they have options and do not have to be a statistic. Prevention starts at home, right here in our own backyards.”
“The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus worked with our leadership and Gov. Wolf to make this significant investment in violence intervention and prevention programs because they are proven to reduce the real costs of gun violence in our communities,” said Representative Donna Bullock, Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.
With no support from the Republican-led General Assembly to enact commonsense gun laws and prevent gun violence, Gov. Wolf has worked to invest in solutions and take executive action to make Pennsylvania a safer place to live.
His investments total $355 million over the course of his administration:
- $50 million invested in 65 VIP projects across the commonwealth and another $85.5 million committed and available,
- $15 million for the new Coordinated CVI Strategies Pilot Program,
- $135 million to support local law enforcement,
- $50 million to violence investigation and prosecution,
- $19.5 million to support communities targeted by hate crimes.
The governor’s executive actions and support for federal gun violence policy-changes include:
- Creating a Special Council on Gun Violence in 2019,
- Agreeing to share crime gun data with the governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut,
- Vetoing bills that disregard safety including attempts to remove licensing and background check requirements for concealed carry permits,
- Immediately supporting and standing ready to implement new federal ghost gun rules to ensure that those who cannot pass a background check don’t have the means to build their own gun at home.
Gov. Wolf has served for two terms as a leader consistently at work for the people of Pennsylvania. Learn more about how his Priorities for Pennsylvania have fueled the commonwealth’s comeback, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.