Below are my opening remarks from the 2017 Cities United Convening, as delivered on August 23, 2017.
Welcome to Minneapolis!
I’m honored to have you all here. As I hope you’ll experience for yourselves over the next few days, Minneapolis is a city that has a lot going for it – the best parks in the country, many diverse, vibrant communities, and a thriving culture of art and creativity. We’ve also got so many beautiful lakes that we considered giving you each your own to take home. Next time, maybe.
Minneapolis is a great city, but like many cities, we’re facing a great challenge – rates of violence against young black and native boys and men remain unacceptably high. And that’s why we’re here.
We’re here because we know that, as leaders in our cities, communities and neighborhoods, we can’t allow these trends to continue to devastate families.
We’re here because we know that we can’t reduce violence just by putting more people behind bars.
We’re here because we know that young people are the lifeblood of our cities, and that to secure their futures, we must take decisive and ongoing action.