Minneapolis gets national acclaim for preventing youth violence
National League of Cities honors Minneapolis Blueprint for Action
October 14, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) The City of Minneapolis this week received national recognition for its "Blueprint for Action" plan that works to address the root causes of violence and significantly reduce youth violence in Minneapolis. In its report, The State of City Leadership, the National League of Cities applauded Minneapolis for its efforts and calls this program one of the nation’s three most innovative city models for preventing youth violence.
The report also states that "Minneapolis has successfully reframed youth violence as a public health issue through an extensive process of planning and community engagement which has united and galvanized community leaders and residents around a broader vision of youth violence prevention."
"Reducing youth violence requires a strategic, holistic and multi-faceted response," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "This recognition is a testament to our efforts and the efforts of our partners in reducing youth violence in Minneapolis. But we can’t stop here. We need to keep working on finding new and creative ways to educate children and their families on the importance of violence prevention."
"Government can’t eliminate violence from our community on its own," said City Council Member Cam Gordon, Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee member,. "We need the great work of so many people in the community who help us surround our youth and their families with support, opportunity and hope. Thanks to the leadership and cooperation of more than 80 stakeholders, we are headed in the right direction."
In 2008, the Blueprint for Action was launched with the following goals: connect every youth with a trusted adult; intervene at the first sign that youth are at risk for violence; restore youth who have gone down the wrong path; and, unlearn the culture of violence in our community.
Since 2007, juvenile crime has declined by 29 percent throughout the City, and 37 percent since 2006, according to a "Blueprint for Action" report. What’s more, in four of the five target neighborhoods, youth violence was down by an average of 39 percent since 2007 and 43 percent since 2006.
In addition to "Blueprint for Action," Mayor Rybaks Minneapolis Promise college-preparation initiative , the City-County Commission to End Homelessness, and Minneapolis Bridge Center for homeless youth, were also highlighted in the State of City Leadership report. The report was released in Boston at the 2009 National Summit on Your City’s Families and is available at http://www.nlc.org/iyef/
The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.
Published Oct. 14, 2009