Above: (Photo by Hannah Esqueda) Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County play games during a rainy afternoon. The Club recently received additional funding from the Merced City Council as part of a pilot program to open the center on Saturdays. By Hannah Esqueda MERCED, Calif. — For the first time in […]
Billed as “Equity on the Mall,” the advocacy event drew hundreds of residents and families of color from towns across the Valley who braved rain and stormy weather to assemble on the steps of the state capitol building. Organizers hoped to engage with legislators on issues affecting their communities and express support for several key pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 54.
At the talk, Murphy repeatedly described his vision of a bright future for Merced, but failed to share much detail on how the city planned to improve its record on youth investment. City leaders have previously been criticized for slashing youth-program funding, investing about $13,000 annually in youth programs in recent years.
Murphy said that the city recently added more resources to McNamara and Stephen Leonard Parks, enabling the city to serve thousands of families through academic and recreational resources.
Longtime residents in the City of Merced are quick to comment on the rapid decay seen in some neighborhoods around town. The blight — often a result of drug use and related activities — is concentrated in South Merced, near Highway 99 where many of the city’s low-income and minority communities have historically lived.
“If you don’t know about 16th Street, that’s where all the prostitutes are, that’s where everything that you don’t ever want your children to see, happens,” Anna said.
Alarmingly, seven out of ten sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victims know. When it comes to juvenile victims, 93 percent know the perpetrator.