Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Minneapolis Youth Violence Effort Becomes Model

As you can read here, the successful Minneapolis Blueprint for Action on preventing youth violence is becoming a model for similar initiatives elsewhere in the state. I commend the other jurisdictions for following our lead, and wish them as much success as the 37% reduction in violent crime committed by youth that we've seen in the last few years.

I'm proud to have gotten this initiative started by sponsoring the resolution several years ago redefining youth violence as a public health crisis and of all the work so many of us have done drafting and implementing the plan. That resolution dedicated the City to addressing youth violence the way we do other public health crises: identifying risk factors and intervening with kids who start to slip into risky behaviors. The City agreed, when passing the plan, that dealing with youth violence cannot be left just to law enforcement - once the police are forced to respond to an act of violence, it is in many senses already too late.

As we implement the plan I hope that we keep learning and use incidents of violence to better understand causes and factors that contributed to it so that we can prevent it in the future. When I learned of the 7 week old who was apparently and tragically murdered on July 4th it was clear that we still have a long long way to go. Maybe it will help us to focus more on the role domestic violence and child abuse plays in this.

Still, it is good to see our efforts showing results and I hope that others will continue to follow our good example, and put these same principles into effect at all levels of government.


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