Madison Leaders Discuss Gang Issue Saturday

Channel3000:

“In the 80s, we had African-American gangs really hit the scene here in Madison,” said Madison Police Chief Noble Wray. “But what we’re looking at today is that we have more young ladies involved in gangs, we have Asian gangs, and a real increase in Latino gangs.”
Dane County Executive Assistant Ken Haynes said gang members are coming from diverse backgrounds, not just low-income neighborhoods.
“Problems … challenges don’t stop at geographic boundaries,” Haynes said.
Community leaders said that to reduce gang activity, everyone needs to work together.
“Our strategies need to be connected to all the strategies with other service providers, strategies in the schools and the strategies with parents,” Wray said

Video clips and archives from the recent Gangs and School Violence Forum.

  • david cohen

    I had a very interesting chat with an older gentleman of color this past weekend on the gang issue. He made an excellent point: in the 70s and 80s and 90s, there were gangs in Madison. However, they never gained a strong foothold because the poverty level, even in the worst Madison neighborhoods, was far above that in Milwaukee and Chicago and the Twin Cities. Poverty level is one of the deciding factors that pushes young people into a gang. Couple that with the Madison area’s intolerance for gangs, and they just didn’t gain the foothold here that they gained in other cities. Now, fast forward to 2005, where the overall population has grown dramatically, the police have more on their plate, people of color (especially Latino and asian) are increasingly marginalized in society and schools. He really felt that Madison has made a shift for the worse towards a society where gangs truly have gained a foothold. In my mind, hope is the best anti-gang remedy. When young people lose hope that they can move up the socio-economic ladder, they are more apt to count on a gang for social support.