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FOR MAYOR 2010

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Posted on February 20, 2010

Religious Leaders Hope Influence Decreases Violence

RICHMOND, Calif. -- As Richmond Police continue the hunt for two youths involved in Sunday's church shooting, on Saturday morning, local religious leaders said they will launch a new campaign to fight back against violence in Richmond with faith.

Church leaders from Richmond, and beyond, met at the New Gethsemane Church, the scene of the shooting, to lay out an ambitious plan.

“This is our responsibility,” said Bishop Jerry Macklin, Church of God in Christ. “And we must take this responsibility upon ourselves. We can't be scared of our own kids.”

Macklin is leading an effort to change Richmond, by reaching out to the young. His plan includes hanging an anti-violence banner outside every house of worship in Richmond next Sunday and the distribution of 10,000 bibles.

"We've endeavored and set aside a goal that we will knock on ten thousand doors in the city of Richmond," said Macklin.

And, over the next two weeks, the outreach will include prayer meetings on 210 street corners and other demonstrations.

The efforts come after the church was the scene of a violent shooting: on Sunday, three hooded-youth entered his church and one of them opened fire wounding two brothers ages 14 and 19.

On Thursday, police arrested a 15-year-old boy and charged him with conspiracy.

The outreach planned after the shooting was praised by Richmond's Mayor. "Bringing the community together is absolutely key and showing that people care. Richmond cares," said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. [emphasis added]

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus said his department would employ new strategies in response to the church shootings as the difficult job of keeping the peace in Richmond may grow more difficult.

"The challenge becomes keeping it going. I think we really see some momentum here and some solid commitments that are very positive," said Magnus. "We have anywhere between 20 and 30 parolees returning to Richmond each month. We're going to see more of that as we have early release from our jails and prisons."

Six days after a shocking shooting in his church, Rev. Levias said he expected the pews to be filled Sunday morning.

"We shall be here tomorrow. We're gonna have church tomorrow," said Levias.

This religious outreach will require hundreds of volunteers and money. Several churches, religious groups, businesses, including the Chevron Corporation, promised funding for the effort.

Click here to see the TV broadcast of this report.

 

GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN FOR MAYOR 2010
PO Box 5284,  Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 237-1456   •  Gayle@MayorGayle.net
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