WHEREAS, maintaining and enhancing community peace and prosperity represents the highest order of responsibility for Mayors and city governments; and

WHEREAS, gang activity promotes a culture of drug addiction, intimidation and violence, and inflicts widespread trauma on citizens seeking community peace and harmony; and

WHEREAS, a comprehensive approach to controlling and reducing gang violence requires widespread participation of business, governments, parents, faith-based and community organizations, schools and youth; and

WHEREAS, these community partners must deploy a continuum of research supported, best practice strategies of preventive, early interventive, interdictive, corrective and strict enforcement measures to prevent, control, and reduce gang violence; and

WHEREAS, to date federal, state, and local officials have been required to appropriate a disproportionate amount of resource to a primary emphasis on enforcement, control, correction, and incapacitation measures; and

WHEREAS, the best hope of long term gang violence reduction requires us to bolster community development, positive youth development, skilled parenting, family wage employment, business ownership, educational achievement, and furthering the attachment of all citizens to a sense of community; and

WHEREAS, faith-based and community organizations can play a critical role in designing, developing, and providing these protective factors in the community; and

WHEREAS, in the 2005 State of the Union address President Bush proposed a three year $150 million initiative to help at-risk youth avoid gang involvement through community and faith-based intervention and outreach funded through the Compassion Capital Fund at HHS,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls upon all city governments to spearhead an effort to not only maintain and enhance corrective and enforcement measures but also bring emphasis to preventing and reducing gang violence by developing:

  • Effective parenting education and family support programs;
  • Working with business interests to develop youth employment and career path opportunities for young people to overcome the falsely attractive financial rewards of gang activities;
  • Developing a national youth service program to engage young people in civic participation to boost their investment in community safety;
  • Marshalling faith-based and community organizations to provide effective early childhood development programs, elementary school reading and math enhancement activities, mentoring of middle school and high school students, gang resistance incentive programs, and counseling and treatment for those youth already involved in drug use and gang activities; and BE IT FURTHERMORE RESOLVED, The United States Conference of Mayors calls upon mayors from throughout the nation to work with the Mayors Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to develop sustainable funding strategies to support community based prevention and youth development efforts and to support legislative proposals to bring new resources to gang prevention and youth development initiatives.
  • 2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
    Tom Cochran, Executive Director
    1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
    Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352