YONKERS, NY — May 23, 2019 — The escalation of gun violence has come to the forefront, especially after the death of Marilyn Cotto Montanez. She was an 18 year old young woman who attended Lincoln High School and was gunned down by a 15 year old boy in broad daylight. This senseless crime shook the city and left a family and community devastated. A young woman’s life was extinguished before it began, a little girl has to live with the memory of her sister dying before her eyes, and a young man will spend more time in jail than he has lived. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first or last incident involving gun violence in Yonkers this year. In fact, this weekend another person was shot and seriously wounded on Warburton Avenue.
London Reyes, a candidate for Westchester County Legislator stated, “These seem like unrelated incidents, but they all share one critical issue, gun violence. We need to fight for stronger gun safety legislation and allocate county funding for services that are largely important for the mental and social health of our community. Services need to be restored to my district and the city of Yonkers if we want to stop the destructive cycle. By increasing access to services for our youth, we can help to steer them away from negative behaviors that will lead them down the wrong path. As your County Legislator, I will fight to restore services that contribute to the safety and betterment of our community.”
Through the years, funding for county services have been cut due to significant deficits in the Westchester County budget. These services include: after school programming, early start preschool programs, mental and health services, and child care subsidies. For the last 10 years, the drastic cuts the Yonkers Public Schools has endured in guidance, social work, psychology, music, art, athletics, and after school programs has impacted the quality of life and resulted in the spike in crime and gun violence, especially in the neighborhoods of Southwest Yonkers.
SOURCE: Communications Director Stella Schwuchow