City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 121416
City of Long Beach Reps and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson Join President Barack Obama in My Brother's Keeper Summit at the White House
Vice Mayor Richardson to speak on national panel
Tracy Colunga
Neighborhood Relations Officer

Today, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Neighborhood Relations Officer Tracy Colunga and FUSE Executive Fellow Veronica Njodinizeh join President Barack Obama who will deliver remarks at a summit on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK) at the White House.

The Long Beach Community can join the summit event live today at President Obama is scheduled to speak at 4:45 pm EST.

Vice Mayor Richardson will speak on a panel with national elected leaders who have led the MBK work at the local level. The summit will highlight the progress, impact and future of MBK as well as the many local and national efforts to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color, and ensure all youth can reach their full potential.

“Long Beach has helped lead the national conversation on leveling the playing field for all youth, including boys and young men of color,” said Vice Mayor Richardson. “With data-based innovative strategies, like the MBK Local Action Plan, the Promising Adults Tomorrow’s Hope (PATH) Young Adult Diversion Program, and the creation of the Long Beach Office of Equity, Long Beach is positioned to sustainably carry on this part of President Obama’s legacy.”

My Brother's Keeper was launched by President Barack Obama in January 2014. Long Beach joined the My Brother’s Keeper challenge a year later as part of its violence prevention plan, Safe Long Beach, after Vice Mayor Richardson heard President Obama speak in Washington, D.C. about turning My Brother’s Keeper into a challenge to communities around the country. The City Council adopted a resolution brought by Vice Mayor Richardson and Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Roberto Uranga and Al Austin in January 2015, making Long Beach one of 200 cities nationwide to support the president’s community challenge.

The action plan is the result of a series of task force meetings held from Summer 2015 to Spring 2016. The finalized plan focuses on solutions to six key areas meant to measurably reduce youth violence by 2020, as recommended by President Obama’s Administration:

  • Ensure that Long Beach youth are physically and mentally prepared to start school | Creating a Long Beach home visitation collaborative, universal pre-school and establishing a citywide early childhood education plan.

  • Read at grade level by the third grade | Continue the Long Beach campaign for grade level reading, LBUSD local control accountability plan and begin to implement reading partners and literacy mentors.

  • Graduate from high school | Continue Long Beach College Promise and LBUSD “All In” Campaign; Begin mentoring programs aimed at improving graduation rates, especially among young men of color.

  • Complete post-secondary education or training | Continue LBCC Programs, the Student Success Plan, Promise Pathways, Associate Degrees for Transfer and CSULB minority retention programs; Create coordinate infrastructure for youth training programs and opportunities.

  • Successfully enter the workforce | Continue Mayor Robert Garcia’s Long Beach Internship Challenge and the Youth Jobs Program; Create coordinated infrastructure for youth training programs and opportunities and Long Beach First, focusing on locally sourcing new hires.

  • Remain safe from violent crime | Continue restorative justice programs (adopted in October 2014); begin Promising Adults, Tomorrow’s Hope (PATH), and initiating comprehensive juvenile detention reform.

A group of national elected leaders who have been exemplary in their advocacy on the MBK agenda will participate in a panel discussion, sharing lessons about what makes this effort successful at the community level. Challenges and solutions will be shared, and strategies for deepening the work for greater impact will be developed.