TNT Youth Leaders Meet Policymakers

Posted: April 5, 2022

Oakland Youth Voices Heard –

Last week, our Teens on Target (TNT) Youth Leaders and our Policy and Advocacy Director Gabriel Garcia met with State elected officials to discuss the need for violence prevention programs. Last year, Governor Newsom and the state legislature passed a budget that included a historic investment of over $200 million in the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program, but that money has yet to be distributed to communities like Oakland. During these meetings our youth shared their vision of living in a safer Oakland, and educated lawmakers on how the TNT violence prevention program has had a positive impact on their lives.

In the beginning of March, TNT Youth Leaders went through a Policy & Advocacy training designed to build their understanding of the policy making process, and make it clear that their voices and stories can play an influential role in making changes in the world around them. During this CalVIP Advocacy Day, the students were able to gain first-hand experience participating in the policymaking process by being loud and clear on why preventing gun violence should be a priority for our elected leaders.

Thank you to Assemblymembers Mia Bonta (Oakland), Mike Gipson (Compton), and the staff of Assemblymembers Blanca Rubio (West Covina), Reginal Jones-Sawyer (South Central LA), and Isaac Bryan (Culver City) for engaging with our youth leaders as they shared their truth! Youth ALIVE! is especially grateful for organizations like Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety who have been leading on gun violence prevention advocacy, and made these meetings open and accessible for our students.