From ‘Murder Capital’ to Zero Homicide: A California City’s Remarkable Reborn | Paul Bains

From ‘Murder Capital’ to Zero Homicide: A California City’s Remarkable Reborn | Paul Bains
Siyamak Khorrami

“I remember that year; there was just so much shooting going on. Kids would sleep in bathtubs to avoid stray bullets.” Siyamak sits down with Pastor Paul Baines from East Palo Alto. He will share how his city managed to turn around from being the murder capital of the state and the country to achieving zero homicides.

“Believe it or not, a lot of times, young people want discipline. They desire boundaries because of their upbringing. Perhaps the father wasn’t present, or maybe the parents were absent. What discipline does is show that you genuinely care about someone.”

Our guest is Pastor Paul Bains, a longtime leader in East Palo Alto. In the 1990s, this small community gained the tragic distinction of having the highest murder rate per capita in the entire United States. But through the perseverance of Pastor Bains and many others, the city has now achieved zero homicides.

In the 70s a lot of African Americans migrated from San Francisco to the community. It was the mecca for the black community. 90% of the community own their own homes, and everything. It was a beautiful community,” Mr. Bains said, “And then we call that BC, you know ‘before crack’. When the cracks started to come into our community, it started to destroy the family structure, the family structure of father and a mother with their children. And if that father got on drugs, then it it just desecrated that family. And then violence start plaguing our community like never before.
Join us as we dive into how the city of East Palo Alto was able to significantly reduce gang violence and homicides through collaborative efforts between the faith community, law enforcement, and community organizations. Pastor Paul Bains describes the strategies they used, including building relationships with gang members, providing jobs for former inmates, and working to address the root causes of crime in their community. Most importantly, he emphasizes how building relationships and addressing root causes can overcome even the deepest of societal ills.
*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.


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Siyamak Khorrami has been the general manager and chief editor of the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times since 2017. He is also the host of the “California Insider” show, which showcases leaders and professionals across the state with inside information about trending topics and critical issues in California.
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