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04/24/11

Actually, not all of us are the sons and daughters of immigrants and, frankly, those of us who are Native Americans haven't seen papers from any of you. Nonetheless, the gang problem has to be tackled and tackled hard from both ends of the spectrum--education and prosecution. Kids end up on the streets in many cases because they need something to do or they need protection, they need stronger parental guidance and they need good alternative activities. They need to know the facts about the dead end street of joining gangs and we need to support the effort to, in fact, make them dead end streets. I was very impressed by Pierce County's sting against the crips frankly, because it worked. It was based on a broad-based sweep on conspiracy charges and it cut down on crime. It didn't happen without objections, particularly because most of those arrested, and convicted, were Black or Hispanic....but it worked. My primary point is that all of us who care have to get engaged in supporting those who are tackling the problem, AND we have to be part of the solution ourselves. We have to volunteer to be part of neighborhood watches, and to support the police, but we also need to volunteer to support Boys and Girls clubs, to support our schools, and to support funding for these activities. We need to stop complaining about paying for these activities. These are our kids we're talking about, and we have to have the guts to talk to them, advise and direct them, and to get engaged in helping to solve this very serious problem.

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