The City of Long Beach announced Thursday that a My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force has been launched to establish and implement new ideas to achieve positive life outcomes for youth. In February of 2014, President Obama issued a nationwide call to action to encourage communities to help improve the lives of young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances to which they were born.
The group convened on Wednesday for the first time to discuss the next steps in developing the early stages of a Local Action Plan.
“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 in a statement. “The task force is a 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 Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution in support of President Obama’s MBK Community Challenge in January of 2015, based on an agenda item brought forth by Councilmembers Rex Richardson, Lena Gonzalez, Roberto Uranga and Al Austin, according to the release. The initiative calls upon city leaders to work together in an effort to close the opportunity gaps facing youth, to ensure that all young people have the resources 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 in a statement. “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, who convened at the Main Library for the Wednesday inaugural meeting.
As recommended by the Obama Administration, the group focused on the six goal areas: 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.
According to the release, 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.
For more information about the Long Beach Violence Prevention Plan, click here.