National Night Out is a celebration and promotion of the tremendous collaboration of our local community organizations, businesses, and precincts in the prevention of violence and crime.
As the New York State Senate Majority Leader, and as a parent and a grandfather with ten grandchildren, I have worked hard to create a Bronx that is free of violence, a community that respects women and protects our most vulnerable populations. I have fought hate crimes in my district, provided help to victims of violent crimes, and put up rewards to capture and convict perpetrators.
But even more than that, I know deeply what our youth face every day in the streets, having grown up here myself. I know we must have better options for our youth than the lure of gangs, which is why I have brought funds to after school programs and sponsored events like the Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Peace Against Gun and Youth Violence and our First Annual Youth Against Violence Talent Show, which was a tremendous success and I am very proud of each and every young person who participated.
All my life, I have stood for the prevention of violence and crime. Today, National Night Out is sending a clear message that our communities have a zero tolerance for violence. A clear message that, together, we can and will create a Bronx that is free of violence, where our people can safely live, work and play.
It is for the future of the Bronx that I am fighting in Albany. I encourage everyone to continue strengthening neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. Today and every day, we are letting criminals know that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back!