Changing the District two Youth Narrative TO REDUCE VIOLENT CRIME
A district two native, Kendrick Cunningham and his neighboring friends did not have easy access to a great park or adequate entertainment venues that could have served as an avenue for healthy recreational activity in walking distance of their homes. Like district two youth who reside there today, Kendrick's park and rec was the streets or any large enough field his friends could find for a football match near their neighborhood. Many of our youth and emerging adults growing up in Charlotte’s marginalized working family communities live in concentrated poverty which is a contemporary traumatic experience.
Violent crime continues to rise in 2021. Kendrick believes it is especially heartbreaking when the victims and suspects of these murders are young, black emerging adults. Our city has not had nearly this amount of homicides in a year since the 90s! We are going to have to do a whole lot more than programming to reduce it.
The increase in violent crime is correlated to a 30% increase in aggravated assaults and an 18% increase in property crime. Furthermore, there have been over 900 shootings into occupied spaces and over 100 illegal guns seized from our streets. CMPD reported that much of our city’s violent crime escalates from smaller conflict because there is a lack of conflict management skills in the community. We are making stagnant progress in forging fiscally responsible solutions to reduce violent crime.
The violent crime we are witnessing increase is a result of the growing public health crisis in Charlotte. Kendrick Cunningham firmly believes that violent crime in Charlotte will not reduce by further militarizing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. That reinforces authoritarian and oppressive control that inflicts more trauma, ultimately increasing violent crime and lowering quality of life.
Having directly and repeatedly experienced trauma from gun violence, Kendrick knows that violent crime is being spurred on by household, relational and societal factors. That is why as the Charlotte City Council District 2 Representative, Kendrick will work to ensure that non-traditional, fiscally responsible approaches are being prioritized to make Charlotte a safer city. Furthermore, Kendrick will push for intersectional, cross-departmental, intergovernmental community crime and violence prevention policies to reduce violent crime.