Over the past six years, thousands of Boston teens have participated in campaigns to restore funding for youth employment and to prevent further cuts. They have consistently named employment as a major strategy for ending the violence crisis. Our city and state still haven’t restored youth employment to it’s 2001 levels, and now we’re facing cuts that will take away 9000 more summer jobs.
At a rally with 700 youth at City Hall in 2007, youth asked policy makers, “Who’s Next.” In public hearings they pleaded, “Don’t wait ’till we’re dead.” Two weeks ago we lost a young man, Ivol Brown, who was leading this year’s fight for jobs. He was killed on his way to an event that he helped organize. He was part of the group planning Tuesday’s rally. He had dedicated everything he had to to this. You can read about Ivol here and in many other recent articles about his life. Ivol’s family, clergy, and the youth jobs leaders have called us all to act now. We can’t lose another teen to this crisis.