Mayor: Memphis Gun Down off to strong start - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mayor: Memphis Gun Down off to strong start

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Ayana Hardy is a member of the gun down social media team, a group of Memphis teens getting out the mayor's anti-gun violence message.

"The feeling of just being a part of something great you know being a part of the solution and not the problem that's just the biggest thing for me," Hardy said.

It's been nearly six months since Mayor A C Wharton launched his five part plan to combat gun crime.

Inside Memphis Gun Down
http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/21237133/inside-memphis-gun-down

Providing youth opportunities and mobilizing the community are key parts of the initiative and these teens are playing a critical role.

"Violence is really not the answer to everything. It's not the answer to anything actually but if we stop the violence maybe we could be a better place to live," social media team member Antionette Jefferson said.

Mayor Wharton was making the rounds Friday at the gun down pop-up party at the Pine Hill Community Center.

It wasn't announced ahead of time, the social media team got the word out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,  a chance for the community to learn more about the program.

"It lets them know that there is somebody who cares about them that we care about their future that they, they can have a role in making our community safer just by governing themselves and staying away from guns and violence in particular," Wharton said.

The mayor says the five-part plan is making a difference.

"If we take young folks out of this whole group and get them to start thinking about man that gun stuff ain't no good, hey, that's success right there," Wharton said.

Members of the 901 Bloc Squad are working on the intervention arm of the plan, they're in the community trying to get gang members to change their ways and working to prevent further violence.

"When you've got a kid that's been shot and now is going to work every day staying away from that life, it's only been a few months, but that in itself brings glory to us that we know that it's hopeful," 901 Bloc Squad member Delvin Lane said.  

But the people who are working on the gun down plan say it's still early and there's a lot of work left to do.

"It's a lot more that could be done with support of the community and that's what we're trying to do today," Hardy said.

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