Goal: To open peoples eyes to the harsh reality for people in and affiliated with gangs. Also to open the eyes of gang members so they can change their ways.


Gang violence is a growing issue that affects everybody. I decided to take on this topic because I think that this problem needs to be brought to people’s attention. I am first bringing gang violence to the attention of my class mates of my public policy class who often don’t give this issue even a second thought. This topic is important to me because although thankfully I have not 0113_funeral_320.jpglost someone close to me due to gang violence I have had someone close to me lose someone due to it and it affected me in ways that are hard to imagine. It pains my heart when I hear that another young life has been taken because of the violence in the streets, whatever the reason is for Gangs to be fighting is never worth someone’s life. It’s sad to say that this is the way of life for many people. In the streets the saying, “Live by the gun, die by the gun.” is a familiar saying that many can relate to because it is the reality in the streets.

"Oregon Public Broadcasting." Families Call For An End To Gang Violence · OPB News. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://news.opb.org/article/families-call-end-gang-violence/>.



The article titled, In Newburgh, Gangs and Violence Reign. Devastating news is shared that a 17-year-old boy by the name of Levi King Flores (a suspected gang member) was stabbed to death between his shoulder blades. For young Levi Flores’ death a 13- year-old boy was put in jail for his murder.These kinds of stories simply break my heart. Young boys who are probably intelligent and bright had a whole life ahead of them. Unfortunately one’s life was cut short and the other will most likely have to spend the remainder of his incarcerated. Everyone is affected by both of these young boys’ choices. Since young Flores decided to be supposedly a gang member, he put his life at risk. His story ends with a lost life and family and friends left behind grieving because they lost a son, a cousin or even a brother. Since the 13-year-old boy decided to put the single blade between Levi Flores’ shoulder blade, he now has to live with the fact that he is a murderer, as well as his family. Levi Flores’ family and friends aren’t the only ones that have lost a son, cousin or brother. But this 13-year-old boy’s family and friends have lost someone too.

The New York Times. The New York Times. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/nyregion/12newburgh.html?_r=1>.


In Salinas, California police and city officials decided it was time to try and tame the gang violence between northern and southern California gang members. I think that states and cities all over the country should start taking action like these officials and police officers did. The amount of shootings and homicides went down significantly. Unfortunately the amount of officers shrunk quite a bit because funding for nonprofits has become more of a struggle, so the violence suppression unit was cut. I think that the unit was worth keeping if its keeping less people six feet under the ground and less people laying on GANGS-articleLarge.jpghospital beds, almost flat lining. I think that
gangs and gang violence is one of the biggest problems for cities and communities but people don’t realize it. When children in the streets don’t have anyone to look up to and to care for them it’s the older members in gangs, believe it or not who quire the qualities that a parent would have for a child to look up to. They are also the ones who are giving a pat on the back for the bad triumphs that the young miss guided in the streets are getting caught up doing. Simply because they want someone to be proud of them, and that someone isn’t found at home they find that someone in the streets.

"Oregon Public Broadcasting." Families Call For An End To Gang Violence · OPB News. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://news.opb.org/article/families-call-end-gang-violence/>.


After reading this article I felt so much sorrow. In Chicago due to a drive by shooting, Aliyah Shell at the tender age of six years old lost her life. She was just sitting on her own front porch with her mother, younger sister and another male when a pickup truck pulled up with multiple shots being fired from it. According to a Chicago police spokesman little Aliyah was hit in the abdomen along with other shots. It is suspected that the individuals that were in the pickup truck on that day were in or affiliated with the Latin Kings. The Latin Kings are said to be the largest and one of the most organized Hispanic street gangs in America with roots that date back to as late as the 40s in Illinois. It’s very disturbing to know now that this little girl won’t be able to complete second grade and go on to third grade. Her mother won’t be able to tuck her into bed at night and see her off to school in the morning. It’s also so very sad that these kinds of tragedies happen all the time all over the country and it seems as though the numbers continue to grow. Gangs and gang violence affect everyone.

R.I.P Aliyah Shell

"Slain 6-year-old Girl among 5 Shot within an Hour in Chicago." Chicago Tribune. 17 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-17/news/chi-2-wounded-in-gage-park-shooting-20120317_1_people-shot-multiple-gunshot-wounds-rash-of-gang-related-shootings>.


This article is perfect because it gives the raw facts about how the gangs in New York projects also known better as street crews are getting younger. The truth is that these little boys who don’t even have their high school diplomas or GEDs know exactly how to work a Glock.


In many cases the boys in these street crews used to be best friends and were heading in the right direction but took the wrong turn and are now just battling even their fellow classmates over turfs. Again the issue with these little boys, being as young as seventh grade is that they just simply have no guidance. Even tenants of these projects believe that the city needs more youth programs. Even if it’s just one rec center created it will make a hell of a difference.


Police have stepped in a little but with the murderer of Moises "Noah" Lora (16) known by crews that are not reviling it to police, are instead waiting to get revenge. The officials can do only so much. It really depends on the community and what they can do to change things around here.

"Brutal Slaying of Teen in Melrose Houses, Second  murder in Nabe in Two Days, Has Residents in Fear ." New York Daily News. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-04-18/news/31363394_1_lora-project-jennifer-gonzalez>.


According to this article, it looks as though in Macon,Ga they are taking a stand like New York should be. The goal in Macon is to steer the youth away from violence and onto the course for a future full of success. They are trying to get more kids involved in activities such a boxing to get their aggression out instead of pulling the trigger of a gun.
The training schedule for boxing which involves a lot of time will help kids to shy away from the activities that include drugs and alcohol. It is just best that everyone tries to intervene. The question often is though, how? You just have to come up with a plan to take action and give kids the resources needed for them to take advantage for them to become successful. It’s too much of a shame to let alcohol, drugs and bad decisions take advantage of the youth, putting them on a dark path to destruction. The way that it is for a lot of the youth and kids doesn’t have to be that way for everybody and it doesn’t have to be that way for them forever. Start today by making a plan.


The way teens get affiliated with gangs is almost always the same. They were heading on the right track but got side tracked by getting caught up with the wrong people. Stacey Holliday was one of these teens but fortunately she realized that being out in the streets throwing up gang signs is not the way to live. We are lucky to have teens like Stacey in some of our communities. She has made it a point to save the youth. It’s in Memphis, Tennessee
where more and more teen’s lives are being changed and turned around. Although some members of the program leave and go back to gang life, the ones who remain stay dedicated to being successful and achieving their goals. If one life is changed ultimately more lives that come after that one will be changed. GRASSY stands for Gang Reduction Assistance for Saving Society’s Youth and this is the program which Stacey and her peers are involved in, trying to get others involved too.

"Program Seeks to Head off Gangs." Memphis Commercial Appeal. Web. 17 May 2012. <http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/may/11/program-seeks-to-head-off-gangs/>.


I like to end these files bringing to your attention that because of gang affiliations a conflict that could have been properly handled with civil conversation resulted in something far from a fairytale.
A love triangle caused David Villanueva to get a fatal gun shoot wound to his shoulder, simply over a girl. Juan Briones obviously didn’t think before he acted because that one shot could have killed Villanueva who luckily survived but Briones is suspected to be involved may not be as lucky. This incident brought him to the attention of the law since this was not his first run in with it. In the past he was allegedly a part of a murder. Later it was confirmed that Villanueva was affiliated as well. Take note on how because of both of these members actions and decisions could have affected far more people than it did, I wonder who got the girl.

"'Love Triangle' Ends with Gang Member Shooting Romantic Rival - KGBT-TV Presents VALLEYCENTRAL.COM." Pigroot. Web. 17 May 2012. <http://pigroot.com/r/Edinburg/311554/love-triangle-ends-with-gang-member-shooting-romantic-rival-kgbt-tv-presents-valleycentral-com>