Thursday, June 30, 2011



Kick-off Press Conference at Lafayette Multipurpose Community Center

Los Angeles - Summer Night Lights (SNL) will shine a little brighter this summer. The Department of Recreation and Parks will enter into its fourth year as a key partner for SNL on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. With an additional eight parks this summer, the crime and gang reduction program will expand to 32 sites. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa announced SNL's expansion from 24 to 32 parks at a press conference on Friday, June 24, 2011 at Lafayette Multipurpose Center.

SNL is a community based innovative program to combat gang violence during the traditionally more violent summer months. The anti-gang initiative keeps City parks open after dark with organized activities such as athletic leagues, art initiatives and family programs, while also providing at-risk youth with job opportunities.

Since it's launch in 2008, Summer Night Lights has proven to reduce crime. Last summer, surrounding SNL area neighborhoods experienced a 40% reduction in gang-related crimes and a 57% reduction in gang-related homicides. In 2010, over 710,000 Los Angeles residents visited SNL site, a total of 382,523 meals were served and 1000 jobs were created because of the program.

SNL has three major components:

1) Extended Hours & Programming: between July and September, SNL sites extend their program hours from 7pm to midnight four nights a week (Wednesday - Saturday). Expanded programming includes community-centered recreational, educational and artistic programming to engage youth in positive activities during peak times for violence.

2) Youth Squad: 10 community youth groups are hired to create and staff the extended hours and programs (320 city-wide). Youth Squad members are at-risk, ages 17-20 and receive stipends for the duration of the program. Training is provided to the Youth Squad prior to the kick-off of the program and includes topics such as life skills, communication and community outreach.

3) Cease-Fire/Maintaining Peace: Community intervention workers are assigned to each SNL site to help keep the peace at the site, in the surrounding communities, to address potential conflicts and to assist in identifying resolutions to conflicts. Their participation contributes to maintaining a high level of safety and community participation at the SNL sites.

SNL has been recognized as a national model for violence reduction and community empowerment. The program has been presented at conferences and has inspired cities across the nation to launch their own successful summer anti-gang programs.

The 2011 participating recreation centers and parks are:

SNL Returning Sites

1) Cypress Park

2) Delano

3) Glassell Park

4) Highland Park

5) Hubert Humphrey

6) Imperial Courts

7) Jackie Tatum/Harvard Park

8) Jim Gilliam

9) Jordan Downs

10) Lemon Grove

11) Lou Costello

12) Martin Luther King

13) Mount Carmel

14) Nickerson Gardens

15) Normandale

16) Ramona Gardens

17) Ramon Garcia

18) Ross Snyder

19) Sepulveda

20) Slauson

21) South Park

22) Valley Plaza

23) Van Ness

SNL 2011 New Sites

1) Montecito Heights

2) Lafayette

3) Lanark

4) Sun Valley

5) Algin Sutton

6) Green Meadows

7) Toberman

8) El Sereno

9) Wilmington

SNL has expanded each year since it's launch and is supported by a combination of public and private funds. For more information or to find an SNL site close to you call the Department of Recreation and Parks general information line at 213.202.2700.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrea Epstein, 213.202.2690

BLOG CONTACT: Amy A. Garcia, 818.243.6488

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