Mentoring Month Proclamation
Today, during Full Council, this year’s first joint Mayoral and Council Proclamation was presented recognizing January as Mentoring Month. I sponsored this proclamation and asked Mayor Mike McGinn and Councilmember Licata to join me. The proclamation calls upon public officials, businesses, public and private agencies, religious and community leaders, educators, and all Seattleites to support mentoring and give young people in our community the gift of time and friendship through mentoring programs.
Mentoring programs depend on volunteer mentors. I believe mentors can play a powerful role in a child’s life. When mentors care, they can help reduce youth violence and give a young person the hope to lead a healthy and productive life. This proclamation raises the awareness of the importance of mentoring. Our City must make the city-wide call to recruit individuals and create an ecosystem that produces better students, better people, and a better community.
Unprecedented Youth Violence Forum. I was proud to take part in a Seattle Channel, CityClub and Town Hall sponsored Youth Violence Forum on Tuesday, November 10. C.R. Douglas, Seattle Channel’s public affairs host, moderated the lively panel discussion which included youth who have been impacted by violence first-hand. A short video was shown where I interviewed youth in the community who were very close to the issue of violence on the streets. “I was joined by Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) Director Mariko Lockhart, Police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, Urban League SYVPI Program Coordinator Jamila Taylor, Royal Alley-Barnes, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Cleveland High School students Maraunjanique “Mook” Smallwood and Janisha “Boug” Sparks, a member of the Seattle Police Department gang unit, and Tony McCane, a former boxer, gang member and now community activist.”
Our City’s 2009-2010 budget allocated $8 million of the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to end the killings and assaults among juveniles, ages 12 to 17. Last year about this time, 5 youth were killed in Seattle. This year, that number is reduced to 0, aside from the tragic killing of 18 year-old Aaron Sullivan.
You can view the Youth Violence Forum at http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3380902.
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Seattle Speaks: Youth Violence
Seattle Channel Video link: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3380902
Media Advisory: Councilmember Harrell to participate in critical youth crime prevention discussion
SEATTLE – On Tuesday, Nov. 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall, Seattle Channel, CityClub and Town Hall will hold a forum on youth violence. Seattle Channel’s public affairs host C.R. Douglas, will lead a lively panel discussion that includes youth who know violence first-hand on the streets, Councilmember and longtime youth mentor Bruce Harrell, Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) Director Mariko Lockhart, Police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, Urban League SYVPI Program Coordinator Jamila Taylor, a member of the Seattle Police Department gang unit and a former gang member.
In Sept. 2008 Mayor Greg Nickels pledged $9 million toward a Youth Violence Prevention Initiative aimed at ending the killings and assaults among juveniles.
The panel will be asked questions and discuss the city’s initiative aimed at youth violence, including whether the approach is working, how people can get involved and what community organizations and private businesses can do to help.
The forum will include an Interactive Polling System to directly receive feedback from the audience. Additionally, viewers tuning into Seattle Channel 21 can participate in the forum online during the broadcast.
What: Seattle Speaks – Youth Violence
Where: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave. Seattle
When: Registration 6 p.m., audience instructions 6:30 p.m., program runs from 7 – 8:30 p.m.
On July 7, I attended the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Summit at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club/Rainier Valley Teen Center. Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund and a nationally recognized advocate for disadvantaged Americans, delivered the keynote address. Edelman’s address helped kick off a day of group discussions and speeches. Edelman stated that, “We’ve got to break up this cradle-to-prison pipeline.” She went on to say mental-health treatment cannot be overlooked and that dealing with health issues at a young age is more cost-effective in the long run, saving society future financial burdens. “We can’t afford not to do it,” she said.
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Seattle’s youth make well-informed career and life choices
On the morning of April 18th, 2009, I was honored to give the keynote address to almost 100 youth at the 19th Annual Youth and Law Forum, held at the First AME Church, Seattle. I have been involved in the Forum since it first began in 1990. This year’s theme, Law and Order, focused on teaching young people how to better understand the judicial and law enforcement fields from the very people who serve in them, as well as educate youth on court procedures and their legal rights and responsibilities.
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January was National Mentoring Month and the Seattle City Council issued a proclamation on January 26, 2009, to that effect. Former Seattle City Councilmember, Tina Podlodowski, President and CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound graciously accepted the proclamation. Also, during the weekend of January 31, 2009, I encourage you to join me at the Guiding Lights Weekend 2009 at the Seattle Center’s Pavilion. Guiding Lights is one of the best Seattle-based regional efforts to promote the incredible effects that mentoring has on young adults and our community. I’ve been invited to serve as a speaker at the Guiding Lights Awards Dinner.
I am asking that the City accept a major role in coordinating and promoting a city-wide effort to use mentoring as a strategic tool to increase the effectiveness of its young citizenry. This has not been done before. The purist may demand strict obedience to the City’s charter regarding the provision of essential services such as police, fire and roads. But even the purist cannot refute the business proposition that having more capable and productive young adults is cheaper than arresting, prosecuting, and criminalizing youth, as well as providing legal redress to the unfortunate victims.
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