Sacramento, California - Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia presented Assembly Concurrent Resolution 134 before his fellow lawmakers for a unanimous vote declaring January 2018 as Gang Awareness and Prevention Month in California.
“The spread of gang violence is preventable and the solution lies within all Californians, working together. We all have a role to play; with courage and inner strength, our communities have the responsibility to stand up to deter violence through education and collaboration. We need to help encourage our youth and families to strengthen their bonds both at home and within our neighborhoods,” expressed Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
This measure was brought forward due to the tremendous advocacy efforts of Yulil Alonso-Garza and Martin Garza who founded the Mothers and Men Against Gangs (MAG) Coalition following the death of their son, Martin Alberto Garza, at the hands of a gang member.
“Rather than surrendering to personal tragedy, this family bravely embarked to keep others safe through anti-gang awareness and violence prevention. The impact of this mission has already taken root in Imperial County and is now beginning to make waves across the state.”
The organization and their partners understand all too well the danger gangs pose to our communities; targeting vulnerable youth, destroying families, ruining lives and taking the lives of innocent victims unaffiliated with gang activity. The coalition’s outreach programs include, but are not limited to, 5K events, scholarships, anti-bullying presentations and vigils.
“It all begins by acknowledging that gangs still exist, and pose a real and present danger to public safety,” Garcia continued. “The MAG Collation is a perfect example of an organization working tirelessly to spare other California families from experiencing the same loss. By telling the Garza family story and others like theirs, we raise awareness and make greater strides to transform safer communities.”
After the Assembly passed the resolution with a bipartisan support, Yulil and Martin were introduced and greeted with thunderous applause and gratitude for their leadership on this issue.
"Our family and MAG Coalition is thankful to God for giving us the strength to do his work. We are thankful for the support of our Assemblymember, Eduardo Garcia, his staff and Assembly colleagues for approving ACR 134. This is just the start and together we will begin changing lives through the GAP4ALL (Gang Awareness and Prevention for ALL) Campaign,” exclaimed Yulil Alonso-Garza.
Tomorrow evening, this organization will host an inaugural Gang Awareness and Prevention for ALL benefit dinner, which will launch a series of community awareness activities scheduled throughout the month.