Salisbury Council member and Rev. Anthony Smith clarifies his personal stance for championing the Cure Violence model.
Sometimes you have to give clarity around issues that may raise questions as you actively endorse an issue as a member of the community and an elected official. My reasons for championing Cure Violence in Salisbury follow:
1. My role with Bring Cure Violence To Salisbury is to champion this initiative until it is here and housed in an organization or governmental agency.
2. I will continue to be a champion for this effort but will not be seeking a salary or any payment from any funding of this work. I’m not doing this to get paid. I have a career with the Federal Government, and as a published author and public speaker. My day job pays me well. I don’t even receive a salary from the Church I pastor, Mission House. My reward will be the implementation of Cure Violence and the strong possibility of significantly reducing violence in Salisbury.
3. This is personal. I have personal experiences with violence. Both domestic and gun violence. I have lost many loved ones to gun violence. I have witnessed first hand the effects of gun violence. I have also sat with family members in this community that have lost loved ones due to violence. I carry all these people in my heart whenever I am speaking about Cure Violence, whenever I am organizing, whenever I am convening a meeting. The lives lost is a significant motivator for why I am pushing this initiative. This work is a significant part of my calling: to be a peacemaker.
4. It is a Win-Win for our city. The ultimate goal of implementing Cure Violence is to add to the programming and community toolkit a unique violence reduction strategy that enhances and builds up the well-being of the community. Cure Violence has had a significant impact beyond just reducing violence in a community. People have discovered purpose, found needed resources in the community (from job placement to affordable housing to wrap around services for mental health and many more), the reduction in violence shifts the norms in the community and cultivates greater trust between the community and public safety institutions, decreased violence means safer communities which translates to a more attractive city for businesses seeking to bring jobs and services here, more jobs means more wages, more wages means a better quality of life, more revenue means more resources for our local city government to do some of the other work of building up our community that has been challenging because of budgetary constraints.
These reasons are why I’m pushing this cause. This initiative. Let no one be confused about this effort. This is not a one-man effort. This is a community effort. And the community support is growing. To help this along please get the word out. Share our social media statuses, have conversations in your spheres of influences.
If you need me to come speak to a group about Cure Violence just contact me and we can schedule something. I’m open.
I believe that one day Salisbury will be a city of peace. Let’s make it happen. Let’s Bring Cure Violence To Salisbury