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Mayor pledges $1M to curb violence

Posted: 5:21 PM, Jan 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-12 15:43:10Z
St. Pete Mayor, Rick Kriseman wants the city to step up in a big way to address issues of violence and despair in some of the city's roughest areas. 
 
He's pledging to find a million dollars to invest in the city's black males.
 
At this point, the mayor doesn't actually know, but he's confident the city will find the funding. He wants to create a plan that will break the cycle of poverty for many of the families on the south side of the city.
 
"We need it. We need resources over here for our children," said Councilwoman Lisa Wheeler-Brown.
 
St. Pete city councilwoman, Lisa Wheeler-Brown has been working for the people on the city's south side for years-- trying to fight issues head on. Her 21-year-old son was shot and killed in 2008. It's what pushes her to make a difference.
 
"I don't want anyone else to feel the pain that I'm feeling," Wheeler-Brown told ABC Action News.
  
Major help could be on the way. 
 
Mayor Rick Kriseman is pledging to find one million dollars to invest in the city's young black males.  It's all in efforts to address not only a rash of recent violence, but also what's been described as systemic problems.
 
"This is really addressing a crisis, what the mayor has called an urgent crisis in our community," said Ben Kirby, communications director for the mayor's office.
 
Ben Kirby, with the mayor's office told ABC Action News that the city is working to create a task force determined to address a number of issues. The goal is to lift families out of poverty.
 
"Maybe it's job training, maybe it's education, maybe it's a mix of some of both of those things, maybe it's more," said Kirby.
 
However, one million dollars is not easy to come by. So could cuts to other programs have to be made to actually make this pledge a reality? Kirby told ABC Action News, the mayor is committed to finding the funding without making any cuts.