“We consider these kids our kids, and we think they are important
and they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.”
~ President Obama, Baltimore Speech
This legislation is one of the best examples of Empowering Community Peacebuilding that we’ve seen. It will set up systems in our communities with the support and funding they need to effectively address youth violence issues. By specifically focusing on effective violence prevention and intervention strategies, this bill ensures we are funding programs that save lives and give every young person the opportunity to meet his or her potential.
The time is now. As the Baltimore media coverage once again spotlighted, the challenges youth face, particularly in urban areas hardest hit by violence, are nearing epidemic proportions.
What we know is that that evidence is on the side of prevention and intervention practices that save lives and are far more cost effective than our more traditional punitive approaches. We know what to do — we just don’t yet have the political will to make it our public policy, yet.
That’s where you come in. Your voice matters. Your voice can help uplift the lives of our kids who have been living in what many call our urban war zones, most of whom feel overwhelmed and powerless. These kids, our kids, deserve our support.
This session, the bill was introduced in both the House and Senate by two Democrats and two Republicans: in the House, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), and Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC). And in the Senate, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). This bi-partisan bill is part of a tide of reform that is starting to sweep the nation. The issue of the so-called school to prison pipeline that has become our national norm in far, far too many cases for our youth, is finally starting to get the attention it deserves. Legislators across the aisle are starting to speak out and seek support for alternative solutions. The Youth PROMISE Acts chances probably haven’t been this bright in some time.
Together, we will get this passed into law.
President, Peace Alliance