Mayor H. Brent
Promise The Alliance for Youth
Boise following the Presidents. Summit for America. s
Future, the City. s delegation responded to General Colin
Powell. s call to action by creating Boise. s Promise . The Alliance
for Youth, an effort to organize the entire community to bring children
into contact with the five fundamental resources identified at the
Summit. While Boise. s public and nonprofit sectors had been mobilized
to serve youth for some time, the delegation knew that, given the right
leadership, more could be accomplished.
Brent Coles agreed to be the primary
sponsor of Boise. s Promise and to develop new plans and innovative
pledges of support to reach additional children, especially those
who are considered at risk. The Boise delegation determined at the outset
that the existing community-wide Enough is Enough drug prevention campaign
. providing children with safe places and structured, drug-free activities
. should be incorporated into Boise. s Promise.
Pledge Book Committees
The Mayor. s first objective was to assist
the delegation in developing a "pledge book" listing the actions and
activities that individuals, government, nonprofit organizations, religious
institutions and businesses would take to provide the five fundamental
resources to thousands of additional children in Boise. Specifically,
in each of the five basic resource areas, Boise. s Promise
will reach an additional 2,000 children by the year 2000.
To develop the pledge book . the goal
was to secure all the pledges needed by September 1997 . and in an attempt
to get the entire community involved, two committees were
- The Community Committee included former members of the 1994 Mayor. s Task
Force on Youth and others having interest and expertise in one or more of the five goal
areas. Under the direction of the members of the delegation, it focused on obtaining pledges
from individuals, government, nonprofit organizations and religious institutions. Meeting
mid-June, the committee broke into subcommittees representing the five resource areas,
with two members of the Summit delegation chairing each of the subcommittees. Members
of each subcommittee were asked to contact individuals and organizations which might
logically be interested in making a pledge to expand their programs or increase their
support for youth. An intern in the Mayor. s Office assisted in
contacting many of these organizations through the summer months.
- The Business Committee, working under the direction of
the Mayor, was chaired by a well-known local business leader. Its
mission was to secure pledges from local businesses, large and small.
It began by organizing a "leadership breakfast" in which CEOs and
other top business leaders met with the Boise delegation to hear about
the Presidents. Summit and about General Powell. s three-year
commitment to lead the nationwide effort. The participants in
the breakfast asked questions, provided useful advice and, most importantly,
signed on to Boise. s Promise, agreeing to be an integral
part of the effort to give all children access to the resources they
need. This committee worked through the summer of 1997, and final
pledges were received in September.
efforts of the two committees, more
than 180 organizations made pledges to help children and youth. These
pledges were summarized in the Mayor. s State of the City address
on September 16, and were submitted to the community in book form during
the Celebration of Boise. s Promise held on September 26.
Once the Boise. s Promise Pledge Book
was published and the Community Celebration completed, the members of the
Boise delegation were released from their duties until the year 2000, when
national and local follow-up reports will be presented. Until that time, a
Boise organization, Community Youth Connection, is handling the follow-up
and tracking of all pledges.
Boise. s Promise, officials report,
has resulted in a concerted, community-wide effort to provide more
resources for children. Among the elements of that effort:
- The Robert
L. Montgomery Girl Scout Center . a facility that was built as part of the Silver
Sage Girl Scout Council. s pledge to Boise. s Promise . was
recently dedicated. The Girl Scout volunteers who worked on the Center, officials say,
could have complained about the failure of government, churches or other organizations to
provide enough places for kids to go. Instead, they committed themselves, their time and
talents to a solution: a Center that will serve as a lifeline for many children in the
- The Boise
Noon Optimists have been searching
for a home for their youth football program for 48 years. In
1998, in the spirit of Boise. s Promise, the City was able to set
aside a piece of property that it had acquired and allow the Optimists
to raise money to build nine playing fields . for football in
the fall and soccer in the spring. The Optimists plan to raise $1.3 million
and provide thousands of hours of volunteer labor to have the fields
ready by the fall of 1999. A private, nonprofit organization, the
Optimists will manage construction of the park to City specifications.
The Dairymen. s Association has contributed $100,000
for the project, and the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation also
has made a donation.
- Dozens of other organizations,
from Big Brothers-Big Sisters to the YMCA, are following through on
their pledges to do more for more young people. Businesses have
stepped up to provide more mentors and job training for youth, and the
medical community is working to give kids a healthy start.
"Our children should have the best of everything that we can give them," says Mayor Coles.
"Through Boise. s Promise and America. s Promise, we intend to
make certain that every child has what he or she needs to thrive. Too many children are
struggling with those things that steal from them their youth and, perhaps, their lives:
teen suicide, drugs, pregnancy, abuse, apathy. These children are our future and we cannot
afford to fail them."
Contact: Gary Lyman,
Office of the Mayor, (208) 384-4422