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.
And Newton doesn’t count.
If by “this program” you mean federal funds for youth jobs, yes. Cities and towns all over the country get federal dollars for youth jobs. If you mean Boston-based Boston Youth Fund, Boston Private Industry Council, and Action for Boston Community Development, no. But there are similar bodies, like the Worcester Community Action Council that manage such funds as well as state and local aid in different places. It varies by place.
Please provide the following, for myself and others who may read your post and wish to support youth jobs for this summer (Where ARE the WPA and CCC when we really need them, anyway? The vision for the future was braver in 1932, I guess.):
p>1. The list of people you would like called, their names, titles, and phone numbers, and if possible, e-mail addresses.
p>2. The programs, legislation, or nonprofits you wish supported.
p>3. Links to further information.
p>After all, a premise of political organizing is that the easier you make it for people to do what you want, the more people who will do what you want them to do.
I have not been as involved as I’d like in organizing around Youth Jobs, but one thing you can do is endorse the Youth Jobs Coalition’s work:
p>The most important thing to do, though is to keep calling Scott Brown to tell him to vote for $1 billion for youth jobs.
(202) 224-4543 or (617) 565-3170.