Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is upset because she claims that authorities would rather build new expensive prisons than focus on underlying public health issues as the Big Apple works to get ahold of the recent surge in violent crime.
New York Democrats, including AOC, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Representative Jamaal Bowman, are calling on Congress to set aside $400,000 for a program called "Stand Up To Violence," which aims to address gun violence with counseling and support from the community. According to AOC, it is "not acceptable" to use jails as "garbage bins."
"If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them," said AOC. "The answer is to make sure that we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care and overall health care, employment, etc. It’s to support communities, not throw them away."
It’s called Stand Up to Violence (SUV), a cutting edge program run out of @JacobiHosp (a PUBLIC hospital!), and it is hands down one of the most effective treatments we‘ve seen to reduce incidents of violence like shootings and stabbings.
I’m asking for fed resources to grow it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 3, 2021
The New York lawmaker and her fellow Democrats are asking Congress for funding through a process called "earmarking," a fairly new method that allows lawmakers to request financial support for causes within their districts and it just so happens that the "Stand Up To Violence" program is based at a hospital located in Ocasio-Cortez’s home district.
The recent request from Democrats came as New York City deals with the aftermath of a spike in gun violence during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the New York Police Department, shooting incidents were up a staggering 86% as of May.
On Memorial Day weekend alone at least 13 people were shot throughout the city's five boroughs, including a 15 year-old-boy from the Bronx who was killed.