Sayles Belton Joins General Colin Powell for America's
By Joan Crigger
Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton joined General Colin Powell, Chairman of America's Promise: The Alliance for Youth, as he delivered his second Report to the Nation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "I am honored to join General Powell as he reports on the extraordinary progress America's Promise has made in just two years," said Sayles Belton.
Sayles Belton and over 100 other mayors and The U.S. Conference of Mayors joined General Powell two years ago when he launched America's Promise at the April 1997 President's Summit for America's Future in Philadelphia. In two years the 100 initial communities have grown from 100 to 427, all of which are included in the America's Promise Report to the Nation 1999.
The Minneapolis Promise for Youth is considered a national model and is among those in the report. Mayor Sayles Belton said, "I share the General's commitment to giving every child in America the tools to succeed."
In Powell's remarks before the Press Club, he said that, "it's time to stop building jails and get back to building up our children." The goal of America's Promise is to mobilize communities, businesses, civic, religious and nonprofit organizations and governments to focus their efforts on helping young people have an equal share in the future of this country.
Powell and America's Promise believe that all children must be provided with five things. They are:
General Powell said, "America's Promise has forged innovative alliances and partnerships to meet the five basic needs of our youth. In just two years, we have unleashed a chain reaction of activism for youth all across America."
Also in the Report is a feature on Making A Partnership for Youth in Boise written by Boise Mayor Brent Coles, Chairman of the USCM Advisory Board. In it, Mayor Coles describes Boise as "a community of strong families, active volunteers, and generous corporations...." Coles continues, "Yet in the midst of this plenty, I see too many reservoirs of want and misery." In Boise, they set a goal to provide each of the five basic promises to 2,000 more children by the year 2000. Recently, a youth assets survey, funded by a local hospital, was completed which will address the assets and gaps in the community that were identified in the survey. Mayor Coles indicates that, "We will commit to work together more closely and to be more focused and strategic in our approach to serving youth."
Adding perspective to the report, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a "performance measurement study" of America's Promise. The study found that, during the past two years, America's Promise and its partners have helped more than 10 million children and contributed more than $295 million in the effort to strengthen the character and competence of America's youth.