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PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from PR Newswire
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

URGENT! We’re Running Out of time to Save Lives and Stop Gun Violence in Chicago

September 22, 2021 GMT
Jobs Stop Bullets
Jobs Stop Bullets
Jobs Stop Bullets

CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alternative Schools Network will be Hosting An Important Zoom Panel On Why Youth Jobs Are Critically Important to Stopping Violence on September 22 at 1:30PM (CST)

The roundtable will include Congressman Chuy Garcia, State Representative Sonya Harper, Quincy Roseborough of Metropolitan Family Services, Craig Nash with Create Real Economic Destiny (CRED), begun and led by former US Dept. Secretary Arne Duncan, Executive Director of the Alternative Schools Network Jack Wuest, David Whittaker, Executive Director of Chicago Area Project, and Emmanuel Jimenez, a youth for whom jobs have provided a powerful direction in his life.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87347766107?pwd=SzRiQWQwTmdLdVZaRHBiWDhxdndBUT09

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Meeting ID: 873 4776 6107
Passcode: 818204

This roundtable will discuss the urgency and desperate need for this plan and deployment of congressional funds to develop the public service employment program for youth to work on strengthening their communities. Participants will express their own summer job program experiences and how they shaped their view on life and the impact it had on their own lives.

Millions of youths (16-19) and young adults (20-24) have little if any work experience and this translates to a lack of basic life skills such as showing up on time, working cooperatively, following instructions and ultimately filling their free time with safe and fulfilling activities and tasks. However, extensive and continued joblessness can lead youth to engage in illegal and dangerous hustles which often times lead them down a life-threatening path to guns, violence and death.

Congress has a chance to stop violence among youth and young adults. The American Family Plan should include $20 billion to employ over 3 million youth and young adults in high poverty, crime and joblessness areas in cities, suburbs and rural areas. This affects millions of youth and young adults, and a vast majority are white. Employment for these youth and young adults shapes their habits and strengths by their having first jobs and earning their own money working with local organizations that can help the youth learn the basic work skills.

Background

To bring attention to the need for this program that can Save Lives in Chicago and across the nation one organization has taken the initiative to bridge the gap and pave the way for change.

Stopping the escalating violence in Chicago and across the country and saving countless lives is possible.

Gun Violence and Crime is caused by the extraordinarily High Jobless Rates for 16-24 Year Olds, but who does it primarily affect?

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16-19 year olds:

  • 72% Black
  • 73% Hispanic
  • 63% White

20-24 Year Olds:

  • 39% Black young adults
  • 33% Hispanic young adults
  • 31% White young adults

Millions of youth (16-19) and young adults (20-24) have little if any work experience. They lack the basic work skills of showing up on time, working cooperatively, following instructions and no experience of earning money that is their own through legitimate work experience.

The federally funded summer jobs program, supporting over 600,000 in low income cities, suburbs and rural areas, was stopped in 2001. This left millions of low income youth without first job experience.

Key point: Rigorous studies showed that young adult employment in the summer reduced violence and crime by the youth participants. Violence by summer youth employment participants was reduced for the following year or longer. The studies include New York from 2005-2008 (University of PA, University of San Diego, University of Maryland); Chicago in 2012 (University of PA, University of Chicago); and Boston in 2015 (Brookings Institution).

Congress has a chance to stop violence among youth and young adults.

The American Family Plan should allocate at least $20 million (only 1 percent of the $1.9 trillion funding) to youth, young adults, homeless services and employment programs through community and local groups in their neighborhoods.

This will employ over 3 million youth and young adults in high poverty, crime and joblessness areas in cities, suburbs and rural areas.

This is a public service employment program where youth and young adults will work to strengthen their neighborhoods working with local organizations. This will be very productive for their communities and the youth, as well as for their families.

This is not an inner-city issue.

This is a national issue.

This affects millions of youth and young adults, and a vast majority are white. Employment for these youth and young adults shapes their habits and strengths by their having first jobs and earning their own money working with local organizations that can help the youth learn the basic work skills.

Why is this needed now?

Large experiment demonstrating violence stopped by employment:

One of the largest social experiments demonstrating employment stopping violence almost immediately occurred in Iraq, of all places, from 2006-2010. General David Petraeus developed a program with the Sunni tribes in Iraq called The Great Awakening that paid up to 130,000 20-35 year old Sunni men $300 per month as members of their local Sons Of Iraq security program. This was a very high wage, the equivalent of the average monthly wage in Iraq. The Sunni men were paid directly by the U.S. military. Before The Great Awakening, many of our soldiers were being killed by improvised explosive devices. After the program began, Sunni violence against our soldiers decreased. It was very simple—Sunni men working in their neighborhoods as Sons of Iraq were not going to blow up their employer, which was the U.S. military in Iraq.

Key program note regarding the proposed public service employment program for 3 million youth and young adults:

This is a public service employment program where youth and young adults will work to strengthen their neighborhoods. It’s productive for the communities, for the youth, as well as for their families. This is not welfare, this is not frivolous programming, it’s teaching youth to be productive workers and meet a huge economic need. Republicans may call it frivolous, but they forget the devastation that joblessness can cause. 2015 Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton and his wife Anne Case have written extensively in papers and now in the book “Deaths Of Despair And The Future of Capitalism” detailing the devastation of joblessness in rural white America, where people without work despair and have used enormous amounts of opiates, drugs and alcohol and in so doing, their lives become shortened and they die younger.

Last note

Ronald Reagan’s Dad, Jack, was laid off in November 1932 and was rescued with a WPA job in May 1933

Lastly, Ronald Reagan’s dad, Jack, was a successful traveling salesman with many friends on his routes on the road and the dignity of being successful was important to the health of his family. Jack Reagan was laid off in early November 1932. He lost his contact with his friends, he lost the ability to support his family and he lost his sense of dignity from having work that would help support himself and his family. It was a very difficult Christmas for the whole Reagan family and particularly for Jack and it was in the terrible depths of the Depression, and he had little hope of finding work and little hope for a better future. It was quite a struggle and the only thing that pulled him out of his was a publicly funded program called the Works Progress Administration, developed by Franklin Roosevelt. He got a job with the WPA in May of 1933, which helped him get on his feet again and move forward. Ronald Reagan’s brother Neil got a job with the WPA in November of 1933, and again this was a boost to his dignity and his hope for the future because he had an actual job that paid him a wage. They were not going to stay on their WPA jobs forever. Neither will the 3 million young people stay on their jobs, but they were able to move forward with hope and a genuine opportunity to make a better life.

For additional information about the roundtable and the event, contact Jack Wuest at jwuest@asnchicago.org or call (312) 259-2360.

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SOURCE Alternative Schools Network