KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a new way to fight violence in Kansas City. On Thursday, the City Council passed KC Blueprint unanimously.
Its creators say the plan is a way for everyone to get involved and fight violence at the source.
Rashid Junaid, a program manager with Aim 4 Peace, has been working on the document since its inception more than three years ago. Over 60 local entities contributed to its final version.
“It shows you how you can contribute to make system changes and policy changes and community changes that prevents violence,” Junaid said. “Every sector. It identifies every sector in the community and how they can help.”
It was put together by the Kansas City Health Department, Violence Free Kansas City Committee and the Health Commission.
“Violence isn’t just a, ‘Hey, what are police doing this week?’ type of question. It’s instead, ‘What are we doing? How can we mentor? How can we make those differences in our community?'” Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
“I’m very excited and I feel like this is a great first step in our city towards a comprehensive all in approach to violence prevention,” said Marvia Jones, the violence prevention & policy manager with the Kansas City Health Department.
With a historic homicide rate in the city, many wonder what they can do. The free document gives every sector of the community — from businesses, churches, nonprofits, and more — ways they can help.
“Mobilize. Implement. Join what’s going on,” Junaid said. “You can make an impact by being a part of this blueprint. There’s something for everyone in it. We just have to read it and see where we find ourselves in the blueprint.”
Tammy Bucker is a business owner and runs We Code KC, an organization aimed at helping kids in the urban core learn to code. She loves the idea and plans to use the blueprint. Buckner hopes others will follow her lead.
“These teenagers, they need mentors that they can see, that they can resemble and say, ‘I can actually do this. I can be a welder, a construction owner, a software developer,'” Buckner said.
“I’m just really happy to see the support, and I know that our city is hurting, and I hope this is a step towards healing,” Jones said.
The Health Department hopes each individual business, organization and person will look at it and take on two of its recommendations.