Letter to the Editor

April 6, 2010

To the Editor:

Iíve been working with members of the community along with state and federal officials to eradicate gangs after a rash of violence.

This past March, I wrote a letter to and subsequently met with the FBI director asking for assistance to bring an end to gang violence. The FBI responded by boosting anti-gang resources to our communities by 30 percent and assigned additional personnel in targeted areas in our neighborhoods. I have been working with the community as well, organizing a citizen advisory board to make recommendations on addressing gang violence. In addition, Iíve secured thousands in funding for programs to give children healthy, safe alternatives to gangs.

These are strong first steps, but our community is going to need everyone to come together to and safeguard our neighborhoods. It is essential that we collaborate and coordinate to tackle these issues and protect our families. We must all the use resources available to us here, including social service organizations, faith based organizations and our schools. One way to take action is by joining the Facebook group BRAVE: Brentwood Residents Against Violence Everyday. Iím proud to report there were more than 2,500 members as of this letter.

Iím encouraged by the communityís desire to work together to eliminate gang violence. Finding a solution is going to require the efforts of everyone: parents, Little League coaches, preachers, teachers, seniors, children, police and elected officials. It truly takes an entire community to protect our way of life, and I encourage you to get involved.

Phil Ramos
Member of Assembly