A PROMISE for Our Children
Posted on November 19, 2010 by NAACP National Youth & College Director Stefanie Brown & Executive Director of the League of Young Voters Rob "Biko" Baker
Cross-posted from Politic365
We all remember how important self-perception was when we were young. As we worked to shape our identity and learn from new experiences, our self-esteem could rise and fall faster than a 13-year old’s voice. Most of us wanted to be thought of as a “good kid” and avoid being categorized as a “bad kid”. For we all know that once a child is marked as a troublemaker, it is very hard for others to shake that perception of him, or for him to shake that perception of himself.
That’s why the Youth PROMISE Act is such an important piece of legislation that deserves all our support, while a competing bill, the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act, needs to be defeated. Both serve presumably the same purpose – lowering crime rates and youth gang involvement – but the bills’ implementation could not be further apart. The Youth PROMISE Act would fund prevention and intervention programs like mentoring and job training to curb youth and gang violence. Meanwhile, the Gang Abatement Act would ineffectively focus on punishment and incarceration of juvenile offenders.