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November 21, 2003

PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS COMMUNITY RALLY FOCUSES ON GUN VIOLENCE AND CRIME

Charlotte, N.C. - U.S. Attorney Robert J. Conrad, Jr. and the Mecklenburg County Health Department Fighting Back Program announce the first major community event associated with Charlotte's Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative to reduce drugs, gun crime and violence in the Belmont and Villa Heights neighborhoods. This activity will take place on Saturday, November 22, 2003 near the corners of Kennon and Pegram Streets.

The purpose of this event is to provide neighborhood residents with information and details about the              "Parkwood 90-Day Plan," a community-based response to reclaim the streets from drug dealers, sex workers and others that might be engaged in gun violence and crime. The goal is to assemble 1,000 people in a massive showing of faith and community support.   

There event includes a Community Clean-up from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, during which Belmont residents will literally "clean up" the corner of Pegram and Kennon streets and an adjacent lot. Beginning at noon, community residents and PSN partners will conduct a symbolic march to St. Paul's Baptist Church at         1401 North Allen Street, where the  PSN rally will be held. The rally will be followed by a cookout at St. Paul's Church, featuring local entertainment, including gospel groups.
 
This activity is being supported by Project Safe Neighborhoods; a community partnership led by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western North Carolina District and the Mecklenburg County Health Department to eliminate gun crime and violence.  Under this program, federal, state, and local authorities, community organizations, and the faith community have come together in Charlotte to work together to elevate the quality of life for the residents in Charlotte's Parkwood Corridor, initially focusing on the Belmont and Villa Heights neighborhoods.



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