FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW EFFORTS TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR YOUNG BLACK AND LATINO MEN IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 7, 2011
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Last week we unveiled the City’s Young Men’s Initiative, an ambitious and comprehensive effort to improve outcomes for young black and Latino men. Far too many of our young men are not fully sharing in the promise of the American Dream, and the facts are simply heartbreaking: Black and Latino boys are twice as likely as white children to grow up in poverty; twice as likely to drop out of school; and twice as likely to end up out of work. Black and Latino young men are also far more likely than their peers to commit violent crimes – or become the victims of such crimes.
“We have to face these hard truths head on, not to lament them, but to change them. Over the next three years, we will do that by removing barriers and promoting opportunities for young black and Latino men in four key areas where the disparities are greatest – education, health, employment, and the justice system. To achieve broad reforms we’ll invest more than $127 million in public and private funding to effect systemic change in each of these areas.
“For example, in our schools, we’ll focus on young black and Latino men who may be able to get their high school diplomas, but still aren’t prepared for college or careers. Thanks to a major donation by George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, we will provide rigorous training and supports for young black and Latino men in 40 public high schools. And once we help more of them graduate ready to succeed, we’ll know how to do it in every school.
“We’ll improve the health of our city’s black and Latino young men by building on our successful Fatherhood Initiative, which is already helping men better their lives and reconnect with their families. At the same time, we’ll help more young men avoid fatherhood until they are ready by making our hospitals and reproductive health clinics more welcoming to young men.
“We’ll give black and Latino young men more tools to launch careers by investing in subsidized internships and expanding Jobs Plus, a successful program that links public housing residents with job training and placement. And we’ll make one simple policy change that will connect thousands of young people to jobs: We’ll help them obtain State-issued IDs. Too many young people don’t have ID’s, making it difficult for them to apply for jobs.
“Finally, we will reduce the barriers to success along every point in the justice system, from sentencing, to our work in the jails, to probation. We’ll launch a pilot program to serve kids who would otherwise be sent to faraway detention facilities that don’t work and that cost taxpayers too much money. We’ll also change the way our Department of Probation functions by moving services from central offices into the communities where probationers live. These new community offices will include supportive services such as literacy and mentoring to help probationers get their lives back on track.
“The Young Men’s Initiative is not a cure-all, but its programs and policies will extend opportunity’s reach into all of our city’s communities, and give our kids a brighter future. And so will the contributions of those who donated funds that will allow the State to hold the January round of Regents exams next school year. Originally, the State had called these tests off to save money. But recognizing that for many students the January Regents exams are the gateway from high school to college and careers, some private donors stepped forward to restore that funding, and help our kids build their futures.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening. ”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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