Racine is seeking a three-year, $450,000 stimulus grant to coordinate gang prevention activities in the area.
The money would be used to hire a director and to create a database that tracks young adults who have had contacts with gangs. The director would work with local organizations already in place and the database likely would be made available to nonprofits, schools and other agencies.
If successful, the city would likely subcontract the program to an agency like Racine Vocational Ministries, which runs the Community Re-entry program for people coming out of prison.
The City Council's Personnel and Finance Committee unanimously approved the grant application. Grant Coordinator Debbi Embry said her discussions with state officials led her to believe Racine had a good chance at receiving the money.
"After meeting with the state, we felt we had a good chance because we have all of the pieces in place," Embry said.
Alderman Q.A. Shakoor II was enthusiastic about the grant.
"This is exactly what we need, and this will make a difference," he said.