Mayors Pledge to Focus on Youth

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It’s too soon to tell if it will amount to anything more than a news release, but here is what the National League of Cities said last month – in a news release – about its latest effort to help youths:

More than 100 of the nation’s mayors have signed on to the Mayors’ Action Challenge for Children and Families, which is designed to focus on improving conditions for youth, specifically targeting financial, safety, health and education issues.

The initiative stresses working with community-based organizations and school districts. It asks mayors to set measureable goals, but does not require them to do anything they weren’t already planning.

“With some of the mayors, the response to the challenge might simply be a matter of framing targets that they already have in place,” said Cliff Johnson, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based league’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families, which oversees the challenge. “In other cities, these may more clearly fall in the category of new plans or new targets. This is still very much a work in progress.”

Among the plans cited by participating cities: In Chicago, boost funding for after-school programming to serve every youth applicant by 2012; in Louisville, Ky., reduce violent juvenile crime by 10 percent by 2010; in Sahuarita, Ariz., staff 20 meetings per year of the Sahuarita Teen Advisory Council.