The City of Long Beach has launched a My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force to establish and implement new ideas to achieve positive life outcomes for youth. The group convened on Wednesday, July 22, for the first time to discuss the next steps in developing a Local Action Plan to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to succeed.
“Our City’s commitment to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative brings together every corner of our City to support our young people,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The task force is collaborative effort that builds on the City’s commitment to keeping our youth safe, healthy, and on track for success in their education and their careers.”
The City Council adopted a resolution supporting President Obama’s MBK Community Challenge in January 2015, based on an agenda item brought forth by Councilmembers Rex Richardson, Lena Gonzalez, Roberto Uranga and Al Austin. The initiative calls upon City leaders to work collectively to help close opportunity gaps facing youth and ensure that all young people have the resources and tools needed to achieve their full potential.
“This significant endeavor offers a Citywide ‘cradle to career’ approach to addressing the needs and priorities of our boys and young men of color,” said Councilmember Richardson. “The My Brother’s Keeper Long Beach Task Force will meet President Obama’s challenge, providing new avenues for expanding opportunities and optimism for all young people in our community.”
The Task Force consists of City officials; representatives from the Long Beach Unified School District; Long Beach City College; California State University, Long Beach; local hospital executives; community-based organizations; faith leaders; and members of the community. They convened at the Main Library to discuss the early stages of developing a Local Action Plan, which will include objectives, next steps, and a timeframe for evaluating progress.
They focused on the six goal areas of MBK as recommended by the Obama Administration: Enter School Ready to Learn; Read at Grade Level by Third Grade; Graduate from High School Ready for College and Career; Complete Post-secondary Education or Training; Successfully Enter the Workforce; and Safe from Violence and Provided Second Chances
The MBK Long Beach Task Force is an ad hoc committee of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Adopted by the City Council in May 2014, Safe Long Beach addresses a broad safety agenda aimed at reducing all forms of violence, including domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, bullying, gang violence, and violent crime. The plan draws upon the City’s many existing assets to target violence at its root and attain the goal of building a safer Long Beach by 2020.
As part of achieving the goals of the MBK Community Challenge, the Long Beach Task Force will review existing policies and expand on ideas discussed with community members at the MBK Local Action Summit held earlier this year.
In February 2014, President Obama issued a nationwide Challenge to cities across the country as a call to action to encourage communities to implement strategies for improving the life outcomes of all young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances to which they are born.
For more information on Safe Long Beach, go to www.lbvpp.com.