Cities United Mayors Respond to President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative

February 28, 2014

Mayor Soglin and others hear presentation on President’s efforts

New Orleans, La. - Following President Barack Obama’s announcement today introducing the "My Brother’s Keeper" initiative, the mayors of Cities United issued the following statement from their inaugural meeting in New Orleans, La.:

"The mayors of Cities United stand with President Obama in pledging to do all that we can to stop the violence that kills 13 young people under the age of 25 – the majority of them African American men and boys – every 24 hours. Across the country, increasing numbers of local elected leaders, entrepreneurs, foundations, and corporations are striving to stop the violence and enable young men and boys of color to have access to education and opportunities to succeed.

"With the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, we are hopeful that the federal government will join Cities United as a strong partner in efforts to implement practical, results-driven strategies that ensure that young African American men and boys are on equal footing with their peers and have the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Through Cities United, we aim to create safer and healthier communities by investing in commonsense solutions such as increasing job training and educational opportunities. In too many of our cities, those opportunities are lacking, and community violence is devastating young lives.

"As the elected leaders of our communities, we support all efforts to bring visibility and hope to a segment of society that is plagued by disproportionately high rates of violent crime, incarceration, and unemployment. We look forward to working with President Obama and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to end violence among African American men and boys and expand opportunity for all."

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin who attended the conference with Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson was pleased with the President’s plan. "I support his efforts on job training and educational opportunities among others," said Soglin. "I have been focusing on similar efforts since I first encouraged private businesses to hire minority youth at a Downtown Rotary Club presentation last summer."

Contact:
  • Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611