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Advance Peace Fresno Receives Hefty State Grant

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Advance Peace, the anti-gun violence program coming to Fresno, has received $900,000 in state funding.

Portrait of Emilia Reyes, CEO of Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

“These funds will allow us to offer mentorship, resources, and training to reduce gun violence in Fresno. As someone who was personally affected by gun violence, I am tired of grieving with our community.” — Fresno EOC CEO Emilia Reyes

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, the nonprofit administering Advanced Peace, announced Thursday that it has been awarded a three-year California Violence Intervention and Prevention grant.

“These funds will allow us to offer mentorship, resources, and training to reduce gun violence in Fresno. As someone who was personally affected by gun violence, I am tired of grieving with our community,” Fresno EOC CEO Emilia Reyes said in an email statement.

City Approved Advance Peace Following Key Change

Advocates tout the program as a way of decreasing violence by transitioning former gang members into productive citizens. However, city officials declined to fund the program in 2019 because of the perception that the program paid gang members not to commit crimes.

This year, the program won support from the likes of Mayor Lee Brand and Police Chief Andy Hall. The controversy surrounding paying gang members was resolved when it was agreed that no public funds would go into that aspect of Advance Peace.

The Fresno City Council approved up to $300,000 for the program, which will now be matched by the state grant.

Fresno EOC will partner with Faith in the Valley to implement Advance Peace.

According to a news release, “together, they will identify potential Peacemaker fellows and focus on violence interruption, community engagement, education, and resources for communities who are hit the hardest, not only by historic gun violence but now COVID-19 outbreaks as well.”

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email