View Full Version : Bloomberg to spend millions of his money to help black, Latino males

08-04-2011, 02:43 PM
New York (CNN) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday announced the launch of a major policy initiative to aid the city's minority youth.

And he's footing a good chunk of the bill himself.

The Young Men's Initiative is the "nation's most comprehensive effort to tackle disparities between young black and Latino males and their peers," a news release said.

"We believe it is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive attacks on racial disparity ... that any city has ever undertaken," Bloomberg said Thursday.

The mayor will contribute $30 million from his personal philanthropic foundation to the effort, which is a public-private partnership. Another $30 million will come from billionaire hedge funder George Soros' Open Society Foundations.

The city will pick up an additional $67.5 million in costs.
"The mayor has shown vision and leadership with this initiative, and that's why I'm happy to join forces with him," Soros said Thursday. He said the initiative will help make New York "stronger and a better place," and that the initiative "shows how private citizens can work with their government to make it better."

Wide racial disparities are a chronic feature of the city's unemployment and incarceration rates.

About 84% of those in the city's detention facilities are black or Latino, according to Bloomberg's office.

"When we look at poverty rates, graduation rates, crime rates and employment rates, one thing stands out: blacks and Latinos are not fully sharing in the promise of American freedom, and far too many are trapped in circumstances that are difficult to escape," Bloomberg said. "Even though skin color in American no longer determines a child's fate, sadly, it tells us more about a child's future than it should."

The initiative will target four areas identified as having the greatest disparity, the mayor said -- education, health, employment and the justice system.

A key focus of the initiative will be an overhaul of the Department of Probation, which supervises about 30,000 New Yorkers, most of them African-American and Latino males.

The revamped department will prioritize "connecting probationers to the economic and educational opportunities that can prevent recidivism," the mayor's office said.

Three out of every four young men who leave Rikers Island, the city's jail complex, return to it, Bloomberg said Thursday. "We call it the Corrections Department. We're not correcting." History shows that when they do return, it typically is for a more serious crime, he said. Many of the things that help people to turn their lives around -- a job, a home -- remain elusive or difficult goals for those with criminal convictions, the mayor said.

"As long as you have served your time, and stayed clean ... you deserve a second chance, just like everyone else," Bloomberg said.

The initiative's funds will also go toward education, including literacy services and the incubation of strategies to close the gap in high school graduation rates, as well as post-graduation success. Bloomberg said the aim is for high school graduates to be ready to take the next steps in college or in the job market.

Other components of the initiative include the recruitment of paid mentors, the establishment of fatherhood classes and a review of whether city agencies place unnecessary hiring restrictions on applicants with prior criminal convictions.

The initiative marks Bloomberg's second major investment of his own money toward a personal policy priority in the past month. In late July, he committed $50 million to the Sierra Club's anti-coal initiative.


Ron Paul 2012
08-04-2011, 05:20 PM
More like spent million, in order to prevent having to spend Billions in taxes.we would all be better of if he just paid his taxes.