City pledges to reduce violence among city's young
The latest installment of Mayor Rick Kriseman's January pledge to dedicate $1 million to combat violence in the city, especially among its young black males, debuts tonight.
Kriseman, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, council member Lisa Wheeler-Brown and community leaders will gather at the Deuces Live: Soulful Thursdays - outside Chief's Creole Cafe on the corner of 22nd Street S and 9th Avenue S. to kickoff a campaign styled on President Barack Obama's efforts to reach out to young black males between the ages of 12 and 24.
The "Not My Son" event will begin at 7 p.m. and includes a canvassing effort in Jordan Park following remarks by city officials and community leaders.
The goal? To keep St. Petersburg's children safe this summer, said Ben Kirby, Kriseman's spokesman.
The city's effort is styled after Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative.
The event will feature a pledge by parents to keep their kids out of harm's way and provide practical tips to accomplish that goal, Kirby said.
So far this year, 10 people have been murdered in St. Petersburg. Three more have died by manslaughter, said Yolanda Fernandez, the police department's spokeswoman.
A card with the following pledges will be passed out at the event:
There is a card with a parent's pledge on one side, a youth pledge on the other:
My daily choices will help determine my children's destiny, I pledge to do these things to keep them safe:
If my children are not with me, I know where he or she is.
I know my children's closes friends, and as much as possible, their parents.
I arrange for my children's involvement in safe and positive activities and attend as often as possible.
I am comfortable with my children's online activity.
If I see something I will say something to prevent an unsafe situation.
My daily choices help determine my destiny. Here are a few things I can do to have a safe summer:
I will never use a gun or a weapon to resolve conflicts.
I will stand up for a friend in trouble by telling a responsible adult.
I will set goals for my future, make decisions that help me reach them, and avoid situations that don't support them.