For some time now, I’ve been helping support the Youth Promise Act, which is currently making the rounds of Congress for possible passage. This bill will provide badly needed prevention and intervention funds to curb youth violence. We’ve tried the prisons, juvenile lockups, trying youth as adults, zero tolerance, and similar measures that have not worked in the country. The United States continues to have unacceptable levels of youth violence—although the numbers are often inflated, misquoted, and misappropriated to stimulate more law-and-order decrees that in turn create conditions for more violence. What’s needed is real caring, real community, resources that go deeper into skills development, educational opportunities, meaningful work, rehabilitation & reentry programs, and the transformative power of a society that does not give up on our young people. The Youth Promise Act is the best piece of national legislation along these lines. I’ve worked with various active politicians—including LA City Councilman Tony Cardenas—to help with the aims of this act. Now a national campaign to bring awareness to these efforts has been launched. Go to www.youthpromiseaction.org to see a video of national celebrities and activists (including yours truly) in support of the Youth Promise Act. The website also has an online petition and other opportunities to help make this promise a reality. c/s
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