Mayors join national initiative to improve child, family well-being

The National League of Cities announced a new initiative to improve child and family well-being last week. The Mayors’ Action Challenge for Children and Families looks to help children and their families by creating a framework in which city leaders can promote leadership and accountability. The program encourages mayors to be innovative in the approaches and to develop local strategies that will address the unique situations of their cities.

“The future economic vitality of our cities and our nation depends on the investments we make in our young people,” said Savannah, Ga., Mayor Otis S. Johnson, 2009 chair of NLC’s Council on Youth, Education, and Families. “We know that a failure to invest in children and families guarantees that we will pay much greater costs down the road.”

The Mayors’ Action initiative has outlined four areas in which children can thrive: by providing growth opportunities, safe neighborhoods, healthy lifestyles and environments, and by supporting financially fit families in which children can thrive. Over 100 mayors have joined in the pledge to work with school district, county, state, and community partners to identify effective strategies and interventions.

“Many of our citizens are facing immense challenges and it is our duty to do our best to help them through these challenges,” said Charleston, S.C., Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., one of the initiative’s 26 founders and the 2008 chair of NLC’s Council on Youth, Education, and Families.

Mayors participating in the challenge are setting goals and benchmarks tailored to their local circumstances, needs and priorities, according to the announcement.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance.

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