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Sunnyside needs a spectrum of citizens to chart a new course against gang activity

It's always easy to complain, but rarely as easy to act... particularly when it comes to gangs and gang violence.

But thanks to the Gang Free Initiative grant won by Yakima, Sunnyside and Toppenish jointly, a few people in Sunnyside will soon have a chance to directly chart the city's path in how it deals with gangs in the future.

The city has received more than $10,000 from this grant to make long-term plans on how to eliminate gang activity in Sunnyside. The committee that will be using that money is almost ready to form.

At Monday's city council workshop, Councilman Jim Restucci presented information on the potential make-up of the committee and a resolution for the council to create it. At next Monday's meeting, the council hopes to pass the resolution and form a new anti-gang team for Sunnyside.

While there will be a number of community leaders on the committee, the council has expressed hope that some average citizens will apply to be a part of the effort as well.

I have more ambitious hopes.

I hope that the committee will truly represent our community, from the farmhands to the business owners, from the recent immigrants to the established families.

I would be delighted to see a spectrum of people on this committee who can overcome common misunderstandings and cultural differences to guide the city to a better course.

If you want a better Sunnyside, then consider joining the committee. The only way to a better future is by getting involved.

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