Ferguson: The Day After

Washington, DC - This statement can be jointly attributed to the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Young Elected Officials Network:

"Last night, the nation gathered as one to watch the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case. In the immediate aftermath, we saw myriad reactions ranging from peaceful protests in cities across the nation, thoughtful postings on social media, and disturbances in Ferguson and neighboring communities.

"In the days and weeks to come, we must use this passion to create and drive a lasting legacy of Michael Brown's tragic death. It is clear that America needs to take advantage of this moment and find a way to bridge divisions and build inclusive communities. The nation must turn its energies into bringing marginalized and disenfranchised individuals into the process and addressing structural inequities that exist in our country. We should consider the workings of our criminal justice systems and ways to reinvest in our communities.

"Local leaders have an obligation to work to ensure that all Americans have an equal voice in the running of their communities. In particular, we encourage all our members to work with the youth of their community for a direction forward. They bring new ideas, fresh thinking and energy to the solving of problems that have plagued our communities for generations - and many are already leading the way in Ferguson and beyond. We must find ways to bring the youth of all colors and ethnicities into the process so they feel they all have a voice and that their lives matter.

"In the coming days, we continue to encourage communities to remain calm and practice restraint. In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving, we hope that all Americans will work towards creating better communities that are welcoming and inclusive to individuals of all backgrounds."

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.