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



WHEREAS, tens of thousands of youth are funneled down life pathsthat lead to arrest, conviction, incarceration and even death;and

WHEREAS, a Black boy born in 2001 has a 1 in 3 chance of goingto prison in his lifetime; a Latino boy a 1 in 6 chance; and aWhite boy a 1 in 17 chance. A Black girl born in 2001 has a 1in 17 chance of going to prison in her lifetime; a Latino girl a1 in 45 chance; and a White girl a 1 in 111 chance; and

WHEREAS, poverty, exacerbated by race, is the largest drivingforce behind the Cradle to Prison Pipeline crisis, with almost13 million, or 1 in 6 children in America living in poverty, almost half of whom (5.5 million) live in extreme poverty; and

WHEREAS, 1 in 4 Latino children and 1 in 3 Black children are poor; and

WHEREAS, the number of uninsured children from birth through age18 rose to 9.4 million in 2006; and

WHEREAS, Latino children are three times and Black children are almost twice as likely to be uninsured as White children; and

WHEREAS, the importance of the early years is dramaticallyunderscored in a U.S. Department of Education study which foundthat Black and Hispanic children were substantially behind whenthey entered kindergarten; and

WHEREAS, 86 percent of Black, 83 percent of Latino and 58percent of White 4th graders cannot read at grade level; and

WHEREAS, 89 percent of Black, 85 percent of Latino and 59percent of White 8th graders cannot do grade level math; and

WHEREAS, only 48,000 Black males earn a bachelor’s degree eachyear, but an estimated 1 in 3 Black men ages 20-29 is undercorrectional supervision or control; and

WHEREAS, one-size-fits-all zero tolerance school disciplinepolicies are transforming schools into a major point of entryinto the juvenile justice system as children are increasingly arrested on school grounds for subjectively and loosely definedbehaviors; and

WHEREAS, a child is abused or neglected every 36 seconds butfour in ten of the children who are confirmed abused or neglected get no help at all; and

WHEREAS, although they comprise only 16 percent of all children, Black children represent 32 percent of the foster carepopulation; and

WHEREAS, a Congressional study found 15,000 children in juveniledetention facilities, some as young as 7 years old, solelybecause community mental health services were unavailable; and

WHEREAS, children who age out of foster care are less likely tograduate from high school or college, and experience moreserious mental health problems, including post-traumatic stressdisorder, than children generally and they are less likely toreceive adequate health and mental health care, and are morelikely to experience homelessness, and to be involved in thecriminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, alcohol and other substance abuse treatment for youthand for parents and adults is in too short supply; and

WHEREAS, Black youth are about four times as likely as theirWhite peers to be incarcerated; and

WHEREAS, most juvenile correctional facility programs focus onpunishment rather then treatment and rehabilitation, oftencreating environments that further harden youth and makes itmore difficult for them to productively reintegrate into theircommunities; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to fighting for policies that put children on track toa productive adulthood and against the criminalization ofchildren at younger and younger ages and urge the President ofthe United States and Congress to; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to ending poverty through investments in high qualityeducation for every child, livable wages for families, incomesupplements like the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, jobtraining and job creation, and work supports like child care andhealth coverage; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to ensuring every child and pregnant woman has accessto affordable, seamless, comprehensive health and mental healthcoverage and services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to making early childhood development programsaccessible to every child by ensuring such programs areaffordable, available and of high quality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to helping each child reach his/her full potential andsucceed in work and life by ensuring our schools have adequateresources to provide high quality education to every child; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to expanding prevention and specialized treatmentservices for children and their parents, connect children tocaring permanent families, improve the quality of the childwelfare workforce and increase accountability for results forchildren; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors iscommitted to reducing detention and incarceration by increasinginvestment in prevention and early intervention strategies, suchas access to quality early childhood development and educationservices and to the health and mental health care children need for healthy development.