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Council President Campbell Wants Transparency for Violence Prevention Grants

Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell has called for a hearing to review funds and grants available to violence prevention and invention.

During the regular City Council meeting, Campbell requested the hearing saying the city receives millions of dollars in regards to violence prevention and invention. Campbell wants transparency when it comes to these grants and funds to make sure they are going to the proper establishments and organizations.

“We know that investments in youth development fund and investments in violence prevention and invention are very important,” she said.

The Boston City Council met May 8, 2019 and discussed setting guidelines for organizations that receive grants and funds for violence prevention and intervention.

Boston receives grants from the Commonwealth including the Shannon Grant and the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI). The City also established the Youth Development Fund in 2017 for organizations that serve youth, including organizations with different focuses all with the goal of reducing incidents of violence.

However, according to Campbell, it’s difficult to track what exactly these organizations are doing with these funds. There are also no set of standards these organizations need to meet.

“We need to make sure these resources are having the intended impact,” said Campbell. “Otherwise these incidents of violence will not go down, they may likely increase.”  

The council president is hoping to develop a set of standards and metrics for organizations moving forward. She said this will most likely be a series of conversations before the standards are developed.

She also said since this is taxpayer money, it is important to be transparent.

“City resources arc public funds and limited, and thus require tremendous transparency and accountability practices to ensure the funds are maximally used,” the hearing order request stated.

Campbell believes these funds are essential to communities and preventing future violence.

She is inviting Health and Human Services Division, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Police Department including the grants division, the Boston Center for Youth and Families, grantees to the hearing to be scheduled at a later date.