Young Green appointed to the Napa County Gang and Youth Violence Commission

Young Green Alex Shantz was appointed to the Napa County Gang and Youth Violence Commission on May 14th, 2013, by the Napa County Board of Supervisors. 

Established in April 2011 in response to an increase in gang-related crime in Napa, the Commission's primary responsibility is to oversee the implementation of the Gang and Youth Violence Master Plan.

“The Master Plan approaches the issue of gang-related crime and youth violence in a very holistic manner,” said Shantz. “There is a significant emphasis on prevention, which I support, because as a Green, I want to focus on the underlying root causes of society's problems. Prevention aimed at these causes can prevent problems before they occur.”   
According to Shantz, "issues of poverty and lack of opportunity need to be addressed to end gang-related crime and violence in the long term. Youth join gangs out of a sense of hopelessness which stems largely from lack of economic opportunity." 
“Often times the wealth and luxury of Napa hides the poverty that does exist. According to recent studies, 9% of Napa residents live in poverty, 300 Napa students are homeless, 37% of Napa residents are food insecure, and the average yearly wages are $45,000 while the cost of living is $50,000.”
"These type of economic inequalities contribute to the underlining conditions that breed gangs and youth violence."      
Passionate about volunteering his time to serve his peers and community, Shantz previously served as president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College (2010 to 2011) and was active in Occupy Napa. He also attended the 2012 Green Party of the United States (GPUS) Presidential Nomination Convention as a California Green delegate. Currently he is Youth Caucus delegate to the GPUS National Committee and co-coordinator of the state Coordinating Committee of Green Party of California.  
Other Greens active at Napa Valley College include Jena Goodman, who succeeded Shantz as Associated Students president in 2012-2013, and Ruscal Cayangyang , who has served as Student Trustee on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees since 2012.

The next state meeting of the Green Party of California will be in Napa and will include a "Greens in Government" public forum on Saturday evening, June 22 featuring Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond; Bruce Delgado, Mayor of Marina; Renée Goddard, Fairfax Town Council; and Jesse Townley, Berkley Rent Board Commissioner. 7:30 PM at Slack Collective Studios, 964 Pearl Street, Suite B, in Napa.