Well, it’s official. More than half a million dollars, and almost a year in planning and the anti-violence Community Mediation Program still won’t start until this fall. That means they’ve missed the summer -- and the time of year shootings are most prevalent.
We first reported on the program here, back before it had the cool name, AIM4PEACE: Community Meditation Program. Back then, in May, they said the program might make a late August launch at the earliest. At the time, Rachel Riley, organizer of the 24th Street Nonviolent Marchers, worried that the program would focus more on fat salaried jobs for city staff than actually stopping violence. An August 24 release from the city says the program is still looking to fill 12 positions, including a program coordinator and intervention and outreach workers. They’ll be recruiting until September 10, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to talk people out of shooting each other, you can get in touch with Tracie McClendon, of the Community Justice Program, at 816-513-3886, or apply online here; or apply in person on the fourth floor of City Hall.
The program is worth a chance. It would just be nice if it would get moving before Christmas. – Peter Rugg