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."
Cities United principals include:
Media availability: Cities United mayors and principals will be available for comment following President Obama's announcement.
About Cities United
Cities United is a national movement to equip mayors and local leaders with the tools, practices, skills and resources needed to effectively eliminate the violence-related deaths of African American men and boys. Cities United was launched in 2011 under the leadership of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with support from the National League of Cities, Casey Family Programs and the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Additional support comes from the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.