A nonprofit agency run by prominent civil-rights lawyer Connie Rice should receive a $465,000 city contract to develop a comprehensive anti-gang strategy, a council panel said Friday. The contract – which requires approval from the full council – could provide the foundation for a new city agency headed by a “gang czar” and devoted to keeping young people away from violence. “They call us the gang capital of the country,” said Councilman Tony Cardenas, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence & Youth Development. “What we are the capital of is not taking advantage of the resources and opportunities that have been lying before us. “We haven’t really harnessed them and put a comprehensive road map together.” “You can’t arrest your way out of this and you can’t incarcerate your way out of this,” she said. “We’re trying to give you the other lenses to see this issue.” The Advancement Project’s proposal says the group will work with academic, law enforcement and youth policy experts to craft a “public health model of violence prevention” similar to plans in Alameda County and Philadelphia. Partners in the project will include anti-gang figure Bill Martinez, public health expert Billie Weiss, Homeboy Industries director the Rev. Gregory Boyle and former sheriff’s Sgt. Wesley McBride. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card City analysts picked the Advancement Project, a nonprofit policy and legal advocacy group, to put together such a road map. Some experts contend that the $26 million the city spends each year on gang prevention and intervention goes to some overlapping programs without adequate performance measures. Former Councilman Martin Ludlow had proposed a new city department to handle all non-law enforcement aspects of gang prevention, but the plan languished when he left to head the County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Cardenas brought the plan back last year. He said Friday that he still thinks an anti-gang chief is a good idea, but is waiting to see recommendations of the contractor study. Rice, co-director of the Advancement Project, told the panel that this week’s gang-related jail riots show how the “region could end up engulfed in this violence” if officials do not act.