OPINION – I have spent my whole life in Del Paso Heights and have seen first-hand, the real need in our community. Something needs to be done.

There is a lack of community programs, including food programs, summer programs and activities focused on reducing crime. As a result, gang violence has increased with kids dying at young ages.

It is heartbreaking to see that year after year, statistics continue to climb, families continue to be torn apart and no action is taken. We need to empower our community and our community leaders to take a stand, create positive activities and educate the public. This is why I am a member of the Steering Committee on the Reduction of African American Child Deaths, a committee created by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to help put an end to African American Child Deaths.

I am hopeful that the Steering Committee’s strategic plan will inform others of the possible programs that could be implemented to save our babies. We should bring in some young people to help put the programs together and provide funds to keep these programs in place.

Allowing the young people to take pride and ownership in these programs will not only allow their voices to be heard and provide them an outlet for their skills but will lead to positive changes for the Del Paso Heights community.
By Debra Cummings Gipson

EDITOR’S NOTE: Debra Cummings Gipson, born and raised in Del Paso Heights, serves as the Sergeant of Arms of Del Paso Heights, Assistant Director of Our Kids Community Breakfast Club, Board Member of Women on the Move and is a member of the Steering Committee on the Reduction of African American Child Deaths.