76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

YOUTH VIOLENCE AS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

WHEREAS, youth violence is the second leading cause of death nationwide for young people between the ages of 10 and 24; and

WHEREAS, the likelihood of recurrence of street violence for a victim is estimated at up to 44%; and

WHEREAS, 5, 570 young people age 10-24 were murdered – an average of 16 each day – in 2003; and

WHEREAS, over 780,000 violence-related injuries in young people age 10 to 24 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2004; and

WHEREAS, the plague of violence can result in a multitude of physical and psychological health problems, as well as tremendous economic costs to both the victim and society; and

WHEREAS, many young people seek medical care for violence-related injuries, some of which can lead to lasting disabilities; and

WHEREAS, violence can undo the social fabric of communities by increasing the cost of health care, decreasing property value, and disrupting social services. The cost of youth violence exceeds $158 billion each year; and

WHEREAS, research is proving that youth violence is preventable disease; and

WHEREAS, violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned by systematically shifting social norms and community expectations of violence; and

WHEREAS, promising interventions in some cities have shown that public health models can be successfully applied to community violence and result in dramatic decreases in violent injury and death; and

WHEREAS, successful models for youth violence intervention have included public education, community coalitions, street outreach, and partnerships with law enforcement informed by the voices of youth and the parents of crime victims; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors(USCM) urges the federal government, states and cities to recognize youth violence as a public health epidemic that requires a sustained multi-faceted approach focused on prevention; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages cities to work with a broad range of stakeholders to establish programs that protect the safety of all victims of violence), seeking medical care in emergency rooms, community health centers, homeless shelters and other sites; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges cities to partner with health care institutions to train health care providers in community health centers and acute care hospitals to establish protocols and effectively identify, respond and treat all victims of violence; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the federal government include as a covered benefit under all federal health insurance programs, reimbursement for case management, mental health, and health education services for all victims of violence; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the federal government support investments in youth development in US cities, with an emphasis on reaching disconnected and hardtop reach youth with quality programming.