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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Chicago-based Cure Violence is assessing Des Moines as a possible new site for its global program to reduce violence in major cities, Charlie Ransford, the group's senior director of science & policy, told Axios.

Why it matters: Des Moines homicides have increased in recent years — 21 in 2020 compared to 14 cases in 2019 — and the organization's approach has proven effective at reducing crimes like shootings.

The org approaches violence as a health epidemic that can be addressed using disease-control methods.

  • The program was developed more than two decades ago by Gary Slutkin, former head of the World Health Organization’s Intervention Development Unit.
  • It is currently implemented by local partners in at least 25 cities.
  • Urban Dreams is one group that may work as a Des Moines partner, the nonprofit group's leader Izaah Knox told Axios.

How it works: "Violence interrupters" — often local residents and former perpetrators — are hired to do much of the work, including:

  • Detect conflicts and diffuse tense situations to help prevent retaliations after shootings.
  • Identify people who are at highest risk and assist them.
  • Organize widespread community outreach to respond to every shooting.

What’s next: Cure Violence officials are completing an assessment of Des Moines, Ransford said, including a review of police data.

  • The City could decide whether or not to move forward at its meeting this morning at 7:30am. Join here if you want to weigh in.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

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