"Along Old Rt. 66, San Bernardino, Rendezvous 2005" by Don - Flickr: Along Old Rt. 66, San Bernardino, Rendezvous 2005. © CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
By: Nicholas Ventrone, Community Engagement Director
Earlier this week, concerned citizens from the City of San Bernardino went to its streets and conducted a march for peace in order to bring public awareness to the growth of crime and homicides that continues to plague the city. Inland Congregations United for Change organized the event and according to an ABC7 Eyewitness News report, city leaders said they'll work with local community groups in hopes of reducing violent crime and sparing more families from tragedy.
That promise is a good thing. In fact, the ICUC group "brings people together to strengthen families and improve communities" according to its website by working with religious groups, schools, and neighborhood institutions. Overwhelming evidence suggests that more young people often turn to the criminal culture when they are raised in abusive or single-parent homes than traditional families. Of course, that's a general stat as there are many good people living today who were not raised with two caring parents. But the facts show that healthy families and mentors for single-parent children and youth can put a serious dent into the criminal culture. Simply put: A child raised properly with the will and discipline to be a selfless worker by the time junior high school rolls around won't be fooled into joining a street gang. They'll know that vandalizing transit buses and infrastructure is destructive and earns them no respect in society.
In addition, religious leaders from local churches and places of worship are working with the ICUC for spiritual growth. To be clear, The Transit Coalition does not support every position that is advocated by ICUC, but working with the city, local spiritual directors and clergymen in order to strengthen the family unit is absolutely the right thing to do.
This week's tip: Check out the organizations near you and get behind their efforts to strengthen the family unit so that children who live in places like San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, and central Perris grow up not to enter into the criminal culture, but to be selfless adults bringing about a better society for the good of the people. They need to be taught and disciplined to build up, not destroy our cities. Criminal organizations and gangs rely on new members to keep their ranks working. By cutting off the flow of recruits and stopping the grave act of allowing troubled youth to be lied to and deceived into the criminal life, such organized groups will die off with the help of robust law enforcement and caring mentors. That is the reality.
Let's make San Bernardino, a county-seat city rich in history in cultural diversity and gateway into the mountain resorts and connecting deserts, a desirable place to call home free from the gang culture.
The fight will not be easy. There will be difficult challenges. But the good people must continue the fight. They must have the will to never quit, and never give up.