BUFFALO, N.Y. — Apart from addressing the obvious crime-related issues, such as getting illegal guns off the streets, the NAACP says it wants to see more of a focus on underlying issues such as bringing more high-paying jobs particularly to Buffalo's East Side, as well as more economic opportunities and more educational opportunities.
2 On Your Side asked Pastor Mark Blue, the president of the NAACP Buffalo chapter, what message he thinks the community needs to hear.
Blue responded, "Well, one of the things that's really apparent with this shooting that's going on this shooting spree that's going on in our city, one we should try to be able to decline the number of guns coming into our city there's a lot of gun trafficking but also we need to be able to increase our employment."
Blue takes a deeper look into the underlying issues that's feeding the rising violent crime in Buffalo. More high paying jobs and more economic and educational opportunities.
"And also the family structure we have a lot of brokenness because of the COVID pandemic," Blue said.
On economics -- the NAACP wants to see more businesses locate in Buffalo, particularly the city's East Side.
2 On Your Side asked Blue, "How do you get there?"
"You're going to have to reach out to them, you're going to have to go after them and market the city as to where this is a place you need to be," Blue responded.
Before a walk for peace Tuesday, 2 On Your Side spoke to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. We asked the mayor if he feels that the city has done enough, particularly in local communities, about providing enough economic and educational opportunities.
"I've already said that - I've already said yes, and this is not about children this is about adults, adult people that are going into the community shooting at each other," Brown said.
The mayor points to resources such as the Northland Training Center.
"If you want a good job training is available for you all you have to do is sign up we've come up with the money for remedial programs for people that don't have the skills now let's not make excuses," Brown said.
India Walton, the winner of Buffalo's Mayoral Primary was also at Tuesday's peace walk but had no comment on her law enforcement or economic development platforms. Walton asked us to set up a time to talk to her through her spokesperson.
We made that request but never heard back.