Cash for Cons: San Fran Program Will Pay Gang Members to Not Shoot Each Other


Democrats in San Francisco have come up with an “innovative” idea they hope will reduce gun violence in the city, and unfortunately, this is not satire.

Set to debut in October, The Dream Keeper Fellowship “will pay 10 individuals who are at high risk of being on either end of a shooting $300 each month to not be involved in such crimes,” Fox News reported.

Newsweek interviewed Sheryl Davis, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, on Tuesday about the pilot program.

“It’s not necessarily as cut and dry as folks may think. It’s not as transactional as, ‘Here’s a few dollars so that you don’t do something bad,’ but it really is about how you help us improve public safety in the neighborhood,” Davis said.

Each participant will be assigned a life coach from San Francisco’s Street Violence Intervention Program and “will be considered ‘community ambassadors’ who work to prevent violence. They will work on their professional, personal, and community development and will be thought of as ‘partners’ in engaging community members and decreasing violence.”

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“As you become better, your community benefits from that. … These small investments can transform the lives of individuals, but they can also transform communities,” Davis said.

Taking a page out of Vice President Kamala Harris’ approach to solving the border crisis, Davis said the objective is to address the “root causes” of gun violence, “which in so many ways are economic.”

“We need to be getting to the root causes of why some neighborhoods are safer than others.”

A comparable program called Operation Peacemaker Fellowship was implemented in nearby Richmond, California, in 2010.

Do you think it's wise to pay people not to shoot others?

The American Journal of Public Health published a study in November 2019 which found that OPS, which provides a monthly stipend of up to $1,000, contributed to a 55 percent decrease in the number of gun homicides in the city and a 43 percent reduction in shootings.

Newsweek reported the new “community partners” will be eligible to earn up to an additional $200 each month if they agree to attend school or work or if they act as a “mediator in situations that could lead to violence,” increasing a participant’s monthly “stipend” to $500.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the additional funds can also be earned for “hitting milestones” such as “landing a job interview, complying with probation or consistently meeting with a mentor.”

The Examiner called the program for gangs or groups identified as the source of most of the city’s shootings “San Francisco’s latest iteration of a guaranteed-income program.” And that’s precisely what it is.

Davis spoke to the Examiner on Monday. She conceded $500 doesn’t go far in San Francisco, but “if it’s enough to get you in to talk to folks, and be able to make a plan for your life, then that’s huge.”

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The Associated Press reported the number of shootings in the city for the first half of 2021 doubled from the same period in 2020, from 58 to 119.

OK, so California progressives now see fit to pay criminals to not commit a crime. Call me crazy, but this is insane.

And Californians who hold down jobs, pay their taxes and obey the law are required to provide funding for it.

A life coach for a gang member? Better be quiet or pretty soon the Biden Administration will be providing life coaches and stipends for members of the Taliban.

If officials are concerned about the state’s soaring crime rate, why don’t they try enforcing the law? A novel concept, I know, but one well worth considering.

In reaction to last summer’s “defund the police” riots, the Los Angeles City Council immediately voted to reduce the LAPD budget by $150 million, according to WABC-TV. Anyone with a brain could have told them how that would end.

Rather than paying criminals not to commit crimes, why not try a more rational solution? Why not refund police budgets and, where possible, even increase police funding?

It’s time for progressives to admit the obvious. Defunding the police was a really stupid idea.

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Elizabeth writes commentary for The Western Journal and The Washington Examiner. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist,, HotAir, MSN and RealClearPolitics.

Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.