AUGUST 27, 2013: MAYOR BOOKER STATEMENT ON MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER TO DISCUSS YOUTH VIOLENCE
MAYOR BOOKER STATEMENT ON MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER TO DISCUSS YOUTH VIOLENCE
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON — Mayor Cory A. Booker tonight released the following statement after joining other U.S. mayors for separate meetings with President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder at The White House to discuss efforts to reduce youth violence in America:
"As public officials working on the frontlines of our nation’s cities, mayors are equipped with unique perspective on the issue of youth violence. I appreciate having been invited by President Obama to join mayors from across the country for this important discussion. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with Attorney General Holder, along with Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio and other mayors and police representatives, in a separate meeting about how the federal government can partner with cities to make our neighborhoods safer.
"In both discussions with the President and the Attorney General, we spoke extensively about the successful anti-violence strategies our cities have deployed, the critical nature of the federal government’s support for these best practices, and the challenges we face in our efforts to combat youth violence. Today’s meetings also affirmed the need for federal action to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. Our streets are flooded with guns that were sold on the black market after being obtained legally in states with incredibly weak restrictions on the sale and purchase of firearms.
"But in Newark and across the country, we know that youth violence is not a problem that can be solved simply by passing tougher gun laws or increasing arrests and incarcerations. The very phrase ‘youth violence’ makes clear the complex cause and effect process that defines this issue. To stop this epidemic, we must start at the source, by providing quality education and mentoring to society’s youngest and most vulnerable, while using prisoner reentry programs to help ex-offenders transition into the workforce and build productive lives. To address the violence that is far too rampant in our cities, we must ensure that local police have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively -- in partnership with federal and state law enforcement officials.
"Today’s meetings underscored the vital importance of strategic coordination between the federal government and local leaders in crafting successful urban policies. We have serious challenges ahead of us, but I left the White House today feeling energized and optimistic thanks to the leadership of President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and the passionate mayors and police officials representing cities across America."
Photo credit: The White House