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New York City To Increase Support For Cure Violence Movement As Part Of 'New Approach To Peace,' Mayor Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to bolster the grassroots community groups behind the Cure Violence movement as part of a "new approach to peace."

During Wednesday's briefing, de Blasio credited the movement with preventing violence and shootings, while building trust and hope in communities, particularly for young people.

He said the city will spend more than $10 million to expand the crisis management system in order to reach four more neighborhoods -- Soundview in the Bronx, Jamaica in Queens and Crown Heights and Canarsie in Brooklyn -- and increase the existing budgets in other areas with high levels of gun violence.

The mayor was joined by the leaders of three organizations -- Erica Ford of LIFE Camp, K. Bain of 696 Build Queensbridge and A.T. Mitchell of Man Up.

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"I need people to understand the bravery of going out, as was said, without a gun, without a badge, into situations where there's pain, where there's conflict, where there's even the potential of gun violence, and diffusing it with mind, body, spirit. There's been many, many positive stories, many positive moments where violence was averted because these people put their lives on the line," de Blasio said after their remarks. "We have to understand that level of sacrifice and commitment. We're going to continue to add resources, we're going to continue to add support, continue to empower this movement.

"I can't think of anything more noble than a human being deciding that in the name of peace they will put their own body forward and risk their own life for the safety of others without anything to defend them but the power of their beliefs," he added.

De Blasio also thanked the City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, led by Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams, for continually supporting these efforts.

"This is the way forward, this is the future. It's not something that came together in this last week or two. This is work that's been done for years and decades to build authentic grassroots leadership, to make a change," he said. "All of us in government better be listening, and we should be deferring and supporting grassroots leadership in this moment."

He also had a message for mayors around the country.

"If you want to move forward, turn to the people, turn to the grassroots, turn to folks who actually have solutions, turn to folks who are so sincere about the work of change that they will literately put their own lives forward," de Blasio said. "If we did that in every corner of this country, if Cure Violence crisis management system existed in every neighborhood and was respected -- and it is crucial that elected officials, police, all institutions of society understand and respect this movement -- we would be taking a huge step to a more peaceful country but also a more just country."

Wednesday's announcement came amid calls to divert funding away from the NYPD and other police departments in order to invest more in community and youth services.

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