Rep. Baca Launces Anti-Crime Effort
Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) today announced creative new legislation that he has introduced to combat violent crime.
At a press conference at the San Bernardino County Probation Department, where he was joined by local officials, area and national law enforcement representatives, and leaders from community groups concerned about public safety, Rep. Baca described his latest efforts to stem the tide of gang violence.
Rep. Baca said, "We are here today because our communities and our neighborhoods have been hit hard by violent crime. We have suffered. We have lost friends and neighbors to violence. And we are determined to put an end to violent crime. It is time to Stamp Out Gang Violence!"
Rep. Baca has introduced 2 major bills in this regard. The first, the Stamp Out Gang Violence Act (H.R. 1070), would provide a funding source for the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program through revenue raised by the sale of a new special-rate U.S. postage stamp. Consumers who wish to contribute to anti-gang programs could choose to purchase the stamp which could be used for first-class mail. It would be sold for 45 cents instead of the standard rate of 39 cents, with the additional revenue being allocated for the GREAT program.
GREAT is an existing program, administered by the U.S. Justice Department, which sends law enforcement officers into schools around the country to educate students about the dangers of gang activity and to give them the skills to resist gang recruitment.
The second is known as Mynisha's Law (H.R. 1069), named in memory of Mynisha Crenshaw, a San Bernardino girl who died after being shot by gang members. Mynisha's Law will allow the U.S. Attorney General to establish an interagency gang prevention task force consisting of representatives from the Departments of Justice, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. This task force would create a comprehensive national gang prevention strategy, focusing on early childhood intervention, at-risk youth intervention, literacy, employment, and community policing. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced Mynisha's Law (S. 144) in the Senate.
Rep. Baca said, "Although San Bernardino and other parts of the Inland Empire have experienced some tragic episodes, we are not alone. Gang violence and crime are national problems that require federal assistance. We must work together to make a difference both locally and nationally to make our communities safer for children and families."