Tackling Gang Violence

fred_murryWhether he is working to solve homelessness in the community or helping to reduce the number of youth getting caught up in gang violence, Fred J. Murry goes above and beyond when it comes to making Gainesville a better place. Now an assistant city manager, Murry has held numerous leadership roles in the community. Every day, his 27 years of governmental management and fiscal experience are put to great use on behalf of local residents.

“I learned early in life about giving to the neighbors and people in my community. My grandmother fed everyone in the community no matter what their status, and she gave food and money to help those in need in our community,” Murry said. “It was because of the example set by my grandparents that I strive to make a difference in my community.”

A dedicated public servant, Murry recognizes that the upcoming Local Works Day, being celebrated by local government employees around the state on Oct. 3, is a great opportunity to showcase how residents and visitors alike benefit from public servants.

Murry is currently working to solve homelessness in Gainesville by leading the development of a one-stop homeless empowerment center. Initiatives like this are nothing new for Murry – in 2010, he led efforts to create a successful government and community partnership to build a $5-million Senior Recreation Center facility for elderly Alachua County residents.

Focusing more recently on the other end of the age spectrum, Murry turned his attention to the number of at-risk youth entering the juvenile justice system, and even volunteered to serve on the Juvenile Justice Board of the Eighth Circuit in order to monitor the issue more closely. Murry’s goal is to prevent and intervene in order to reduce the number of youth caught up in gang violence, and to address the disproportionate number of minority youth contacts with the juvenile justice system

Murry also serves as co-chair of the Community Health Planning Group, which is working to improve community health care. He has also been instrumental in managing activities to improve city neighborhoods through his oversight of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, Neighborhood Programs, Facilities Management, Codes Enforcement and Housing Divisions. In 2010, he organized the Florida City and County Management Association’s Paint Up/Fix-Up Community Project in Gainesville’s Porters Neighborhood, bringing together teams of city staff members from several city departments to transform a blighted community into a neighborhood with a renewed sense of pride and hope.

“The most rewarding thing is to see how your input, feedback or participation has worked to improve the quality of life within your community,” Murry said. “It is rewarding to be able to see that your work has a positive impact on the community and that each completed project or service makes the lives of individuals better by some degree.”