Monica Montgomery Steppe
As one of the safest big cities in the nation, San Diego has seen a citywide rash of recent violence across its communities. As the Chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods, Councilmember Monica Montgomery is compelled to act to ensure San Diegans are safe on every block, in every neighborhood.
By partnering with community organizations and city leaders, The Peace Movement: Let’s Live, Let’s Love has been developed - as a proactive and holistic approach - to mitigate violence and ensure that all communities are safe.
The Peace Movement includes both short and long-term goals.
The short-term goal of the peace movement is to promote unity, healing and peace in San Diego communities as the San Diego Police Department works to solve crimes and reduce violence.
The long-term goal of the peace movement is to provide policy solutions that promote economic justice, foster improved community and police relationships and to improve the overall quality of life for all San Diegans.
Councilmember Montgomery has partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and SD Hip Hop 5k/The Southeast Art Team to produce an art beautification project. Graffiti is one of the challenges to promoting peace. Tagging is one root cause of violence – “the literal writing on the wall.” In addition to the ten (10) practical steps that community members can take to promote peace, an art project - on designated SDG&E utility boxes – will promote healing themes.
There will be ongoing outreach including townhalls, forgiveness and healing circles.
As an integral component of the peace movement, the No Shots Fired Pilot Intervention & Prevention Program is a two-phased, comprehensive outreach and wraparound supportive services program for gang members.
Phase 1: During the initial phase or "Seasons of Peace," gang members must sign a "no shots fired" or cease fire agreement for a specified time period. Each signed cease fire agreement includes a one-month preparation period to establish baseline metrics, objectives and goals. Service providers are assigned, and wraparound supportive services are deployed.
Phase 2: During the subsequent phase, there will be additional programmatic outreach to those who are at a higher risk for violence through a "No Shots Fired" Scholarship Program. This phase of the program utilizes a three-prong approach, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy to address the mental impacts of gang life; a faith-based or spiritual element to address belief systems; and finally, more wraparound services, including team building activities, community service projects and opportunities to receive financial support with living expenses.