KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A metrowide effort is in place to help curb violence on city streets. An effort Rashin Junaid, of Aim4Peace, is rallying many in the community to join by filling out a quick survey.
“We're doing a survey talking about what are your issues and concern about violence. What things you think need to work on so it’s important that everybody fill it out,” Junaid said.
But it’s an effort that has come with it’s struggles.
“The typical response we get is people don’t want to take time, but we ask people to take time because it’s important to our future in Kansas City. We’ve invested in infrastructure but we got to invest in changing the behavior and changing the mentality and reality on the ground,” he said.
Cynthia Jaramillo-Carlson, of the Kansas City Health Department, said the push to get 50,000 survey submissions back by March is to best help the Violence Free KC Committee to come up with a plan to bring an end to violence.
“Sometimes the solutions are already out there. People have experiences and great ideas and this is an opportunity for us to capture that. Violence is something that affects everybody. Whether it’s through something that you witnessed or something that you’ve experienced personally,” she said.
An act of violence changed the life of 19-year-old Loren McDaniel.
“On March 26, 2017 I was shot in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun and it caused me to go blind,” he said.
McDaniel said the shooting stemmed from an argument between his brother and a friend. The incident happened just days before McDaniel was set to leave and join the Marine Corps.
The goal of the survey is to help determine the best way to change behavior so violence is not a primary option.
“You can’t prevent what you don’t know. So you have to be aware of what violence is and what stepping over the line means. Not just for yourself but for people around you,” Alexander Tiemeyer, a Midtown resident, said in regards to the survey.
“You need input to start. That’s where you’re going to find your problems and then you can find solutions to your problems,” Franklin Vickery, a North KC resident, said.
But some are not totally sold on this concept.
“I don’t really think a survey is something that should be done. I think that people that are curious about what’s going on in these neighborhoods should get out here and see it for themselves and see what initiatives taken care of and what changes need to be made,” Corban Ransom, a local barber and Kansas City resident, said.
But Junaid believes the survey can be a tool to listen to what we all think could bring to an end the violence in our city.
“I think the best part of it is that it’s a people driven solution. We are asking for input from the community to create a family masterplan for the whole city of Kansas City. We want everybody involved in this process. We don’t want to leave anybody out,” he said.