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New coalition formed to focus on root causes of crime

Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 20:23:37-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There have been 100 homicides in Kansas City, Missouri, so far this year, and various groups in the city are finding ways to reduce the gun violence.

On Saturday, Councilman Brandon Ellington announced the formation of the "No More Excuses Coalition" to address the growing problem.

A few dozen people gathered at the Brush Creek Community Center to learn about the new coalition and to hear from several men who, at one point in their lives, were incarcerated.

Today, those men are giving back to the community.

"Today I give back to my community where, for so many years, I took from my community, it feels good to give back," Charlies Johnson, who runs I Am My Brother's Keeper said.

One way they are giving back is by talking about their experiences in hopes that others wont make the same mistakes that they did.

"If you talk about the future, they'll have something to look forward to and it reduces the instant gratification of crime and money and drugs," business owner Aaron Ward said.

Councilman Ellington created the coalition to find solutions to Kansas City's crime problem.

"We've had 100 murders since I was a teenagers and we've never addressed the culturalistic or social or the economic lack thereof issues in these areas that have high crimes," Ellington said.

Ellington said the conversation needs to start with the root causes of violence.

"I think the crime issue is more related to the poverty, the lack of community connectors and some of the culturalisitc influences other than the weapons that are used in the crime," he said.

The men, all hope to save more lives in this community.

"I think us as a city as a community will, I think we will come together, bring some solutions," Johnson said.

This was the first event for the "No More Excuses Coalition." There will be another event in late September to deal with home ownership and then a month after that, another event tackling domestic violence.