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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11






Friday, June 23, 2006

More Support for Our Youth

The City Council today voted unanimously to find ways to expand gang diversion programs in the neighborhoods around Venice and Del Rey.

I introduced this motion two days after the fatal shooting of Agustin Contreras and a day after I held a Town Hall in Venice focused on gang violence and rising community tensions.

In addition to expanding gang prevention and intervention programs, my motion also:

- Directed City officials to prepare an exhaustive list of job training and youth employment programs and promote them to youth in Venice, Del Rey and neighboring communities.

- Directed the Community Development Department to find ways to provide training in fundraising and grantwriting for community gropus steering young people away from gangs.

-Directed the Human Relations Commission to work with LAUSD and local organizations to help quiet tensions and prevent retaliatory attacks.

-Directed city agencies to work with LAUSD and community groups to create a "Safe Passages" program for Venice High, Mark Twain Middle School, and other local campuses.

I believe this is a great step toward providing more and better services for the young people living in Venice and Del Rey. These neighborhoods are too often forgotten or ignored due to the affluence of surrounding communities. Our young people need more programs and services to offset their feelings of hopelessness and despair created by poverty and lack of opportunity. Without these much-needed programs and services, social conditions perpetuate a cycle of violence. We must do all we can to provide youth, especially at-risk youth, with true support. This means bringing all entities together to further positive change.



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