A local pol is handing out free concert tickets to kids if they promise to volunteer within their community — and not to hurt anyone.
Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush) is organizing a concert at Brooklyn College on Sept. 18 to see Ginuwine, Ruff Ryders and other hip-hop acts in exchange for eight hours of community service and a one-year “pledge of non-violence.”
“We have to do something,” said Williams, who said violence in his district is a problem. “In theory, someone signing something is at least saying ‘I’m recognizing that I’m saying this’ and perhaps they’ll remember this at some point.”
The pledge is also a way to gather contact information for kids and send out information about community programs, said Williams.
“We do these one-time things and we don’t stay connected to the kids,” he said. “We want to make sure we give them positive options.”
But the top cop in his district was skeptical of the plan.
“It’s just a piece of paper,” Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues, commanding officer of the 67th Precinct, said of the pledge. “Having 300 good kids doing community service is not going to help us. We need to be reaching out to the bad kids.”
In the 67th Precinct, in which Williams said the program was directed, there were 10 murders this year, compared to 15 at this time last year. Shootings in the area are up, with 49 compared to 45 at this point last year, Pegues said. On Sunday evening, there were three separate shootings in an hour, he said.
Williams’ office is working with local churches and community groups to make sure the kids actually do the work before they are given tickets.
The concert’s organizer, Mike Tucker, who founded the Lay The Guns Down campaign after his son was shot by cops in 2005, said the 10 acts have volunteered their time.
For information, contact Williams’ office at (718) 629-2900. The concert will take place on Sept. 18 from 2 to 6 pm at Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College [2900 Campus Road between Avenue H and Amersfort Place in Flatbush, (718) 951-4600]