In a community effort to reduce gang activity in Santa Monica — with particular emphasis on the Pico neighborhood — the City of Santa Monica and State Senator Sheila Kuehl co-hosted a community workshop on gang violence Saturday, February 26th.

More than 400 people attended the workshop at John Adams Middle School, including youths, parents, clergy, educators and representatives of nonprofit groups.

“Every individual and partner agency involved in this work must feel a personal sense of responsibility if we are to succeed locally and regionally to keep our youths out of gangs and our neighborhoods safe,” said Santa Monica mayor Pam O’Connor.

A panel of speakers at the workshop included gang expert Blinky Rodriguez, educator Bill Martinez, behavioral scientist John McDonald, youth violence prevention expert Leah Aldridge and former State Senator Tom Hayden.

“Gang violence has touched all of our lives either directly or indirectly,” Kuehl said.

“To be successful in stemming the violence, we must forge true community solutions,” she said.

A second workshop is scheduled between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, March 12th, at John Adams Middle School, 2425 16th St., Santa Monica.

Breakfast and lunch, childcare for children age five and up, Spanish translation and free parking will be provided.

Information, (310) 458-8301.