The Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County hosted its annual “Our Streets, Our Future” rally on Thursday evening to get kids on the right path as they kickoff the school year.
“We send a strong message against gun violence, but we also give people hope and opportunity,” said state’s attorney for the county Aisha Braveboy.
The event was much more than just a back-to-school rally. There was music, food and games, but the event also offered job service providers, education resources, rehabilitation resources and mental health resources to the community at large.
“Our police department, our sheriff’s department, they’re out here recruiting,” attorney Braveboy said. “We’ve got the American Jobs Department, and other employers saying ‘hey, we want to employ you,’” she added.
The state’s attorney said the event, which was first held in 2020, is part of a larger initiative that has reduced crime numbers in the county this summer.
“This really is a wholistic way to address the issue of crime in our community,” she told WTOP. “It’s an opportunity for our young people to get it right this year: to go to school, to get good grades. And if they need help, we’ve got resources here to assist them.”
Braveboy said the common thread among many in attendance at Thursday evening’s rally was tragedy, specifically from being involved — or knowing someone who was a victim of — gun violence.
“We want to reduce the number of tragic incidents that lead to that level of grief in our community,” she told WTOP.
“We need to let folks know that guns on the street is not the way,” added Md. State Delegate Nick Charles, who also serves as chairman for the Prince George’s house delegation and vice chair of the Democratic caucus. “We need to be making sure the kids know it’s not the way to focus on crime like they have been,” he said.
“The children of this county are our future, Charles added. “We need to show them that it starts right here in the community, and that everyone is taking the issue of crime very seriously, from our police to our elected officials.”
Charles said crime is happening across the D.C. area, not just in Prince George’s County. “But all we can do here is our job for our youth,” he added.
“Since we started this event, the community has responded and it’s really been beautiful,” Braveboy said. “Having this level of community engagement is key to creating safe communities here in Prince George’s County.”
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