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Grandmas Urged to Help Keep Kids Out of Gangs

July 17, 2007  | 

In Salinas, Calif., the city's mayor and the local Catholic bishop are asking grandmothers to use their influence to prevent young family members from joining gangs.

Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue and Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia plan to hold a public discussion on July 28 that will encourage area grandmothers to share strategies for positively influencing young people. The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Church in Salinas, reported The Salinas Californian.

With many women helping to raise their grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, Bishop Garcia believes the impact these grandmothers' views can have on those they care for can be tremendous. "My own grandmother, my mother's mother, Guadalupe, was a very influential person in my life," says Garcia. "Speaking to inmates in prison, I found that to be true in their own lives."

The mayor agrees. "I'd like to point out that a couple of moms won the Nobel (Peace) Prize in Northern Ireland," says Donohue, "so the notion that moms can't help is not true."

The event at St. Mary's is part of the Community Safety Alliance, a gang prevention program began three months ago with a portion of the $1 million approved by the Salinas City Council as a part of crime prevention programs.

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