80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, violence and violence-related deaths have led to a depletion of African-American males in families and communities; and

WHEREAS, homicide is the leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 15 and 24; and

WHEREAS, according to the Special Report on Black Victims of Violent Crimes published in 2007 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005 Blacks were victims of nearly half (49 percent) of all homicides although they account for just 13 percent of the U.S. population and 85 percent of Black homicide victims were male and 51 percent were between the ages of 17 and 19; and

WHEREAS, Cities United is a diverse coalition of mayors working in partnership with aligned organizations dedicated to reducing violent deaths among Black men and boys; and

WHEREAS, Cities United was established to bring mayors from across the country together with community leaders to create opportunities for Black men and boys to achieve their full potential and live long and productive lives; and

WHEREAS, Cities Unitedís mission is to:

  • Build national and local awareness of the epidemic of murders among Black men and boys;

  • Advocate for civic engagement and commitment from every level of government and sector of society;

  • Provide tools for mayors to assess the problems in their communities, the resources available, and the capacity to tackle the problems;

  • Take action through policies and promising programs that build safe, vibrant and caring communities to reduce violent deaths among Black men and boys; and

  • Ensure accountability through community involvement, commitment to evidence-based practices, and rigorous evaluation,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors joins with Cities United in its commitment to take action to reduce the high incidence of violent deaths among Black men and boys; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages mayors to focus on prevention rather than prosecution, on intervention rather than incarceration, and to target the highest-risk neighborhoods, engaging citizens and empowering them to be part of the solution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED thatthe U.S. Conference of Mayors urges all levels of government, corporations, foundations, educational institutions, and citizens to work together to reduce both the opportunities for and the incidences of violence in our communities.