Cities Can Help Close the Meal Gap on Weekends and Holidays

Holiday meals - blogCity agencies can serve meals and reach more children by utilizing existing resources. (Getty Images)

During the weekends and holidays, many of us look forward to spending quality time with our family and friends, and much of that time is spent around the dinner table. It is important to remember, though, that many children and families will go hungry this holiday season – just as many children do on the weekends when they don’t have access to federal Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs. For many families across the country, the Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs provide healthy meals that parents and caretakers rely on to help ensure their kids are fed during out-of-school time hours. Providing meals on weekends and holidays is a great opportunity for these programs to reach even more kids. Local leaders and city agencies that sponsor meal programs can help fill a critical need by building off of their existing programs to serve weekend and holiday meals. Under the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), public agencies such as public housing authorities and parks and recreation departments, as well as schools, nonprofits (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs) and faith-based organizations are eligible to serve meals and snacks on weekends and holidays. Many meal program sponsors find it challenging to fully staff their meal sites on weekends and holidays, but they can work with vendors and other partnering organizations to develop a plan to gradually phase in weekend and holiday meals based on existing enrichment programs. A gradual, phased approach could provide sponsors with needed flexibility to respond to staffing and funding needs. Below are a few strategies for cities that are thinking about serving meals on weekends and holidays:

  • Utilize existing staff and staff from volunteer programs: In Minneapolis, the Nite Owlz late night teen program is held primarily in inner city parks on Friday and Saturday nights. They are currently expanding their meal service program, and the involvement of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board would allow this program to extend healthy food choices to over 350 teens each weekend night throughout the year.
  • Develop creative partnerships between city agencies and community partners: In Washington, D.C., a strong partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and Metroball, a local nonprofit summer basketball league, has helped to reach over 300 teenagers on Saturdays during the summer. DPR acts as the meal program sponsor and serves the meals at the basketball league sites, and the local police department helps spread the word about the program. Summer meals sites are open in D.C. on Saturdays at select Department of Parks and Recreation Centers, D.C. Public Library locations and community-based organizations.
  • Start by serving one meal on Saturdays during the school year. There are approximately 40 Saturdays during the school year, and these days provide a great opportunity for sponsors that implement the Afterschool Meal Program during the school year to serve meals one additional day per week.

For more information on serving weekend and holiday meals, check out the Food Research and Action Center’s resources, including this Afterschool Meal Matters recorded call.

Jamie Nash bio photo
About the Author:
Jamie Nash is Senior Associate of Benefit Outreach in the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. To learn more about how local government leaders can support out-of-school time meal programs, contact Jamie at nash@nlc.org.

Heien v. North Carolina—A Win, But Not a Free Pass

traffic stop 2If you were arrested for a crime as the result of a traffic stop, the Supreme Court has ruled that your subsequent court decision can be upheld even if a police offer made a reasonable mistake in pulling you over. (Getty Images)

In Heien v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court held that a reasonable mistake of law can provide reasonable suspicion to uphold a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment.

The ruling stems from an incident in which a police officer pulled over a car that had only one working brake light because he believed that North Carolina law required both brake lights to work. The North Carolina Court of Appeals, interpreting a statute over a half a century old, concluded only one working brake light is required.

When the vehicle’s occupants behaved suspiciously, the officer asked to search the car. The occupants consented, and the officer found cocaine. The owner of the car subsequently argued that the stop violated the Fourth Amendment because driving with one working brake light doesn’t violate North Carolina law.

The Supreme Court has long held that reasonable mistakes of fact do not undermine Fourth Amendment searches and seizures. Justice Roberts reasoned in this 8-1 decision: “Whether the facts turn out to be not what was thought, or the law turns out to be not what was thought, the result is the same: the facts are outside the scope of the law. There is no reason, under the text of the Fourth Amendment or our precedents, why this same result should be acceptable when reached by way of a reasonable mistake of fact, but not when reached by way of a similarly reasonable mistake of law.”

The Court emphasized that mistakes of law (and fact) must be objectively reasonable, and that this inquiry is not as forgiving to the officers as the qualified immunity inquiry (qualified immunity protects “all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law”). The Court concluded that the officer’s mistaken understanding of North Carolina law in this case was objectively reasonable. As Justice Kagan pointed out in her concurring opinion, the officer’s mistaken interpretation “had much to recommend it.”

Justice Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion predicts that lower courts will have difficulty determining which mistakes of law are objectively reasonable. If the ruling is indeed followed by lower courts, Justice Kagan’s opinion, which was joined by Justice Ginsburg, should assuage some of Justice Sotomayor’s concern as well as indicate that this decision isn’t a free pass for law enforcement to fail to learn the law. Justice Kagan opines that relying on incorrect memos or training programs isn’t objectively reasonable, and that only mistakes made based on “very hard questions of statutory interpretation” should be considered as such.

Lisa Soronen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

Supreme Court Accepts Affordable Care Act Case

Last month, the Supreme Court’s docket went from boring to big with the grant of just one case: King v. Burwell. The issue in this case is whether tax credits for low and middle income health insurance purchasers are available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if insurance is purchased on a federal exchange rather than a state exchange. Only 16 states and the District of Columbia have established exchanges.

SC-Blog(Getty Images)

The ACA makes tax credits available to those who buy health insurance on exchanges “established by the State.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interpreted that language to include insurance purchased on federal exchanges as well.

The Fourth Circuit upheld the IRS’s interpretation of King v. Burwell, concluding that the phrase “established by the State” is ambiguous when read in combination with other sections of the ACA, and could include federal exchanges. The “board policy goals of the Act,” persuaded the court that the IRS’s interpretation was permissible.

The implications of the Supreme Court ruling that health insurance purchased on federal exchanges is not eligible for subsidies is huge. Many people who want to buy insurance on the exchange would no longer be able to afford it without the subsidy. And depending on their income, many who don’t want to buy insurance would no longer be subject to the individual mandate that penalizes people for not buying insurance. Similarly, large employers that don’t offer health insurance to fulltime employees would no longer have to pay a penalty.

More significantly, the Fourth Circuit (and many others) predict the ACA would “crumble” if tax credits are unavailable on federal exchanges. The ACA bars insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on a person’s health. The tax credit combined with the individual mandate was intended to create “an influx of enrollees with below-average spending for health care,” which would counteract adverse selection, where individuals disproportionately likely to use health care drive up the cost. Such an influx is unlikely without the subsidy.

The Supreme Court generally hears cases when there is a circuit split, meaning two federal courts of appeals have decided the same issue differently. Many were surprised when the Court agreed to hear this case given there is currently no circuit split, especially considering that last month the Court refused to hear a series of cases challenging the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans. However, the Court also accepts cases involving “important question[s] of federal law,” which this case seems to raise.

On the same day in July, a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel ruled opposite to the Fourth Circuit Court on this issue. The entire D.C. Circuit was going to re-hear the case, but it has been asked not to rule prior to Supreme Court resolution of King v. Burwell.

Wondering how the Supreme Court may rule? SCOTUSblog offers an excellent symposium on this topic.

Lisa Soronen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

This Case Isn’t (Only) About a Confederate Flag License Plate

confederate flag license plate
If it were displayed on a specialty license plate, would you consider the image of a Confederate flag to be an expression of government speech or private speech? (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)

In Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ (Texas SCV) application for a specialty license plate featuring images of the Confederate Flag. The Supreme Court will decide whether this violates the First Amendment.

This case may have implications beyond the specialty license plate context. Lower courts have struggled to determine whether government websites, advertisements on city buses, memorial bricks and tiles at public schools, etc. are government speech or private speech.

Texas allows nonprofits to propose license plate designs for state approval. Texas SCV applied for a specialty plate featuring its logo, a Confederate flag framed on all four sides with the words “Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896,” and a faint Confederate flag in the background. The Board voted unanimously against the plate because it received numerous public comments objecting to it.

The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas SCV. It held that specialty license plates are private speech, not government speech. It also held that rejecting Texas SCV’s plate was impermissible viewpoint discrimination and not a permissible content-based regulation.

The majority of the court concluded the speech in this case was private, applying the “reasonable observer test” test from Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum, 555 U.S. 467 (2009), where the Court held that monuments in a public park are government speech. While governments have historically used monuments “to speak to the public” in parks, a reasonable observer would understand that specialty plates are private speech because “states have not traditionally used license plates to convey a particular message to the public.” A dissenting judge argued that Summum did not adopt a “reasonable observer test” for government speech and that, for purposes of First Amendment analysis, monuments at public parks are very analogous to specialty license plates.

The entire court agreed that the Board engaged in impermissible viewpoint discrimination because it “discriminated against Texas SCV’s view that the Confederate flag is a symbol of sacrifice, independence, and Southern heritage.” Rejecting the plate was not a permissible content-based regulation, even under the assumption that Texas bans all viewpoints on the Confederate flag. “Silencing both the view of Texas SCV and the view of those members of the public who find the flag offensive would similarly skew public debate and offend the First Amendment.”

Interestingly, the Court did not grant review in Berger v. ACLU of North Carolina. The issue in that case is whether North Carolina may offer a “Choose Life” specialty license plate without offering a pro-choice plate.

Lisa Sorenen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

State of the Reengagement Network in 2014 and Beyond

Opening the 2014 Reengagement Plus convening in Portland, Oregon last week, I observed that the Reengagement Network deserves a moment of quiet celebration. Quiet because of recent tragic events in several communities directly affecting youth; celebratory because collectively, we have had a tremendous impact this year.

Diploma - blog(Getty Images)

In my opening remarks, I outlined how NLC’s Reengagement Network has grown in size and scope since its inception, identified key opportunities for the Network in 2015 and proposed priorities to deepen and broaden our impact. Here are a few highlights:

NLC’s Andrew O. Moore delivers the opening remarks at the 2014 Reengagement Plus conveningin Portland, Oregon.

NLC’s Andrew O. Moore delivers the opening remarks at the 2014 Reengagement Plus convening in Portland, Oregon.

  • Over 250 people from 38 cities in 22 states attended the 2014 Reengagement Plus convening. It doubled in size from last year!
  • This year’s reengagement census showed nearly 24,000 young people making initial contact with reengagement programs in the network, 11,500 students placed and 70 percent of those placed in programs completing or persisting for the full school year.
  • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act now includes a requirement to spend 75 percent of youth training funds on out-of-school youth, and for the first time names reengagement as an allowable activity.
  • Next steps include adopting and pursuing a goal of spreading reengagement programs to every city and town in the nation – particularly pushing reengagement ahead in the Southwest and Southeast, where activity is currently limited. Supporting and strengthening statewide reengagement networks, such as those forming in Washington and Massachusetts is also a priority.

Read the Opening Remarks in their entirety…

Andrew Moore
About the Author:
Andrew Moore is a Senior Fellow in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education & Families.  Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewOMoore. Learn more about 2014 Reengagement Plus on Twitter by searching the hashtag #ReengagePDX14.

Supreme Court Rules No Pay for Passing Through Security Screenings

The Supreme Court has ruled that these employees are not required to be compensated for their time spent submitting to security screenings at work. (Getty Images)

Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro worked at warehouses filling Amazon.com orders. Their employer, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., required its hourly workers to undergo a security screening before leaving the warehouse each day. Busk and Castro claimed that they were entitled to compensation for this time, and subsequently took their argument to court.

In the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require hourly employees to be paid for the time they spend undergoing security screenings. The ruling has significant impact on employers as well as employees working in courthouses, correctional institutions and other environments where security screenings are prevalent.

Under the FLSA, employers only have to pay “non-exempt” employees for preliminary and postliminary activities that are “integral and indispensable” to a principal activity. According to the Court, an activity is “integral and indispensable” to a principal activity “if it is an intrinsic element of those activities and one with which the employee cannot dispense if he is to perform his principal activities.” The Court concluded that security screenings were not intrinsic to retrieving and packing products, and that Integrity Staffing Solutions could have eliminated the screenings altogether without impairing employees’ ability to complete their work.

The SLLC’s amicus brief made similar arguments to those the Court adopted. This case is a significant victory for local governments who will now not be faced with higher payroll costs for employee security screenings or a mandate to reduce screenings to a de minimis amount.

James Ho, Ashley Johnson and Andrew LeGrand, of the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Dallas, TX, wrote the SLLC’s brief, which was joined by the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the International City/County Management Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the Government Finance Officers Association, the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources.

Lisa Soronen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

First (Only?) Environmental Case of the Supreme Court’s Term is a Big One

power plantThis coal-fired power plant is excited to receive its 15 minutes of fame when the Supreme Court rules on a complex environmental case later this term. (Getty Images)

The consolidated cases of Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency and National Mining Association v. Environmental Protection Agency challenge a 2012 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation intended to limit mercury and other emissions from mostly coal-fired power plants.

Before regulating emissions from electric utilities, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA Administrator to find that regulation is “appropriate and necessary” based on a public health hazards study. The simple legal question in this complicated case is whether the EPA unreasonably refused to consider costs in making its determination that regulation was “appropriate.”

In 1990 Congress required the EPA to identify stationary sources for 189 hazardous air pollutants and adopt maximum achievable control technology standards (MACT) for limiting their emissions. But the CAA regulates emissions from electric utilities differently than from other stationary sources. Before the EPA may regulate electric utilities under the MACT program, it must perform a health hazards study and determine whether regulation of them is appropriate and necessary.

In 2000, the EPA determined it would regulate mercury and other emissions from electric utilities, but it reversed course in 2005. Then in 2012, the agency issued the final rule challenged in this case which concluded that regulating electric utilities was appropriate and necessary. The EPA “rejected the 2005 interpretation that authorizes the Agency to consider other factors (e.g., cost).”

The D.C. Circuit agreed with the EPA that it was not required to consider costs. “Appropriate” isn’t defined in the relevant section of the CAA and dictionary definitions of the term don’t mention costs.  Throughout the CAA “Congress mentioned costs explicitly where it intended the EPA to consider them.”

A dissenting judge pointed that the cost of regulation in this case is nearly $10 billion dollars annually and opined that the cost of complying will “likely knock a bunch of coal-fired electric utilities out of business and require enormous expenditures by other coal- and oil-fired electric utilities.”

States are involved in this case on both sides. During its last term, the Supreme Court ruled on two significant Clean Air Act cases: EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, involving the CAA’s Good Neighbor Provision, and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, involving greenhouse gases and stationary sources.

Lisa Sorenen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

Must All Signs Be Treated the Same?

Update: the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for this case on Monday, January 12, 2015.

yard sale signMunicipal codes treat signs differently, meaning that spray-painted signs like this might not be allowed to remain in your neighbor’s yard for longer than necessary. (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona could upset sign codes nationally. Most sign codes, like Gilbert’s, include different categories of temporary signs. It makes sense, for example, to give people more time to remove thousands of election signs and less time to remove a few yard sale signs. In this case, the Court will decide whether local governments may regulate temporary directional signs differently than other temporary signs.

Practically speaking, the Court could rule that all temporary signs must have the same time, place and manner requirements. NLC joined the State and Local Legal Center’s (SLLC) amicus brief asking the Court not to go that far.

Gilbert’s Sign Code includes temporary directional signs, political signs and ideological signs. After being notified that its temporary directional signs announcing the time and location of church services were displayed longer than allowed, the Good News church sued Gilbert. The church claimed Gilbert’s Sign Code violates the First Amendment because temporary directional signs receive the less favorable treatment (in terms of size, location, duration, etc.) than political signs and ideological signs.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that Gilbert’s Sign Code does not violate the First Amendment because the distinctions between the three sign categories are “content-neutral”; all signs in each category are treated the same regardless of their content even if the three categories of signs are treated differently. Because the lower court concluded that the sign categories are “content-neutral,” it applied intermediate scrutiny rather than strict scrutiny. The different treatment of temporary signs would not serve a “compelling” government interest as strict scrutiny requires, but does serve a “significant” government interest as intermediate scrutiny requires.

The SLLC’s amicus brief argues that Gilbert’s Sign Code does not violate the First Amendment. Sign codes with multiple categories of temporary signs are common; they are usually classified by function, with their own time, place and manner requirements. And the fact that a temporary sign must be read to determine what kind of temporary sign it is does not render a sign code “content-based.” Finally, even when the three categories of temporary signs at issue in this case are compared with each other, they are regulated by purpose, rather than by content, meaning strict scrutiny should not apply.

Bill Brinton of the law firm Rogers Towers wrote the SLLC’s brief, which was also joined by the National Association of Counties, the International City/County Management Association, the United States Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the American Planning Association and Scenic America.

Lisa Soronen bio photoAbout the Author: Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.

Why the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act Matters to Cities

The National League of Cities’ new guide for city-led juvenile justice reform outlines steps that cities can take ahead of three key proposed changes in the recently introduced federal juvenile justice bill.

JJR_Zora Murff - blog(Zora Murff)

Last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2014. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) provides state and local government agencies with federal standards and supports for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.

Of high interest to cities are three key changes to the way state and local governments address and treat young people. The proposed bill would:

  • Remove a loop-hole that allows juvenile courts to detain youth for non-criminal acts;
  • Give local and state governments more guidance on understanding and reducing racial and ethnic disparities; and
  • Require several evidence-based steps to reduce the harm the juvenile justice system does to many young people.

NLC’s new municipal action guide, Increasing Public Safety and Improving Outcomes for Youth through Juvenile Justice Reform, documents steps cities can take ahead of these proposed changes to the law.

Repeating the Same Mistake Doesn’t Equal Lockup
Parents know that kids and teens usually need to be told something more than once in order to get them to change their behavior. “If I have to tell you one more time…” One proposed change to the JJDPA would ask courts to give youth under court supervision for non-criminal acts the same chances.

The Vera Institute of Justice's Status Offense Reform Center reveals the significant number of youth who are detained in status offense cases, which would violate the new law if approved.

An infographic from the Vera Institute of Justice’s Status Offense Reform Center showing the significant number of youth detained in status offense cases, which would violate the new law if approved.

If approved, the JJDPA would require juvenile systems to phase out the use of incarceration for repeated non-criminal status offenses, such as running away, ‘incorrigibility’ and skipping school. This would keep about 8,800 youth annually who are currently detained for repeating the same mistake out of detention and in their homes, schools and communities. This change will not affect young people under the court’s supervision who are charged with actual crimes.

Ample evidence that shows incarcerating youth increases the risk they will drop out of school, have trouble finding a job and be incarcerated as adults. Based on this evidence, the current JJDPA already prohibits juvenile agencies from putting youth charged with status offenses in detention. Instead, courts put those youth under supervision in the community and, typically, place requirements on them. For example, the court will order a truant youth to attend school every day.

Making the same mistake again then violates that court order– something for which the current JJDPA allows detention. The proposed change would require juvenile courts and agencies to hold youth accountable for these violations without detaining them.

Often, what works best to hold youth accountable and change their behavior will be something in the young person’s neighborhood and community. Cities that have a robust continuum of community-based services, much like the services outlined in the guide, will see better outcomes for these 8,800 or more youth.

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Evidence shows that racial and ethnic disparities have persisted in the state and local agencies responsible for juvenile justice, including in arrests by local law enforcement agencies. The proposed JJDPA requires juvenile justice systems to use data-driven policies and programs to ensure fairness in their decisions about youth. It also asks States to establish measurable goals for reducing disparities across the system and to share their goals and progress with the public. In our guide, we share Tucson, Ariz.’s data-driven response to racial disparities in their arrests of youth, which trains patrol officers to use an objective, decision-making tool at the point of arrest.

Do No (or Less) Harm
Judges and other juvenile justice professionals haven’t adopted the Hippocratic Oath of our medical colleagues, but perhaps we should. Based on evidence of significant harm to and subsequent negative outcomes for youth in incarceration, the revised JJDPA would take several steps to reduce the severity and risks of incarceration to young people.

The bill protects youth from being incarcerated with adults while awaiting trial and encourages states to use effective behavior modification techniques in juvenile facilities as an alternative to isolation and physical restraint practices. The bill also promotes accountability of state juvenile justice agencies by requiring more public reporting. Important to cities, it also reauthorizes the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant, which states may distribute to localities to support juvenile justice programs.

headshot_LFurr
About
the Author: Laura E. Furr is the Senior Associate for Juvenile Justice Reform in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Follow Laura on Twitter at @Laura_Furr.

The Kids are Alright: The Need for City-Led Juvenile Justice Reform

A new resource is available for city leaders committed to increasing public safety and improving youth outcomes through juvenile justice reform. NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) also recently announced the selection of six cities to receive technical assistance for juvenile justice reform projects.

Infographic: Inside the Juvenile Justice SystemNLC’s new Municipal Action Guide (MAG), Increasing Public Safety and Improving Outcomes for Youth through Juvenile Justice Reform, documents the results of a year-long survey of opportunities and examples for city-led juvenile justice reform. Cities can increase public safety and improve outcomes for youth by implementing strategies that hold them accountable for their actions in more effective, equitable and developmentally appropriate ways. The guide also emphasizes that youth need individualized responses at every point in their involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Progress must include breaking down collaboration barriers among agencies and service providers that touch young people. Strong partnerships with county and state agencies can also enable city leaders to foster community-based alternatives to arrest and prosecution, reduce racial and ethnic disparities at the point of arrest and reconnect youth leaving the system with supportive community resources.

The MAG recommends several early steps in local juvenile justice reform, including:

  • Identify first steps to reforms based on existing activities.
  • Implement training to change the nature of law enforcement interactions with youth.
  • Utilize objective decision-making tools at arrest.
  • Create mechanisms for referring youth to community-based alternatives to arrest and prosecution.
  • Implement a continuum of high-quality community-based services.
  • Open community-based services to youth re-entering the community.Create agreements to support local goals and facilitate information sharing.

The MAG also highlights several local examples, including innovative programs and policies in Tucson, Ariz., Gainesville, Fla., Minneapolis, Minn., and Baltimore, Md.

Six Cities to Receive Technical Assistance
Using this new resource as a foundation, the YEF Institute also launched a new technical assistance initiative. NLC selected these cities to join the initiative:

  • Gresham, Ore.
  • Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.

The technical assistance will include a Mayor’s Institute for Children and Families focused on juvenile justice reform. The YEF Institute has led Mayor’s Institutes to successfully engage multiple mayors as champions and leaders on a wide range of issues. Immediately following the Mayor’s Institute, city teams will draft action plans at a cross-site meeting. YEF Institute staff will support cities to implement these action plans during the ensuing months through site visits and regular cross-city opportunities for learning and collaboration.

City Leaders Recognized As Key Allies in National Juvenile Justice Reform Movement
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative recognizes that local leaders play a key role in juvenile justice reform, and supports NLC’s work in this area. Models for Change also brings local leaders to its annual conference, which is taking place December 15-16 this year. The conference provides key opportunities for local leaders to engage with juvenile justice experts and better understand how to become involved in local reform efforts.

This year’s conference will welcome several city leaders to Washington, D.C. A workshop featuring Councilmember Ricki Barlow from Las Vegas, Nev. and Gainesville, Fla. Chief of Police Tony Jones will provide concrete examples of local reforms and recommendations to juvenile justice practitioners on engaging local leaders early and consistently in juvenile justice reform.

headshot_LFurr
About
the Author: Laura Furr, Senior Associate for Juvenile Justice Reform in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Follow Laura on Twitter at @Laura_Furr. For more information about the Municipal Leadership for Juvenile Justice Reform initiative, email Laura at furr@nlc.org.