I’ve spent a good portion of my campaign so far digging into the eruption of crime, drugs, and violence in our city, and just like the doctor says “prevention is the best cure”.  I believe the answer to our growing crime, violence, and drug problems are hoovering at our elbows. They are the 7-12 year olds, maybe a little older, with increasing independence and decreasing opportunities for safe and fun activities.  Cuts to Parks and Recreation programs have left little for these kids to do, and more time to be courted by the “bad guys” looking for their next customer.

The following slideshow is from the Valley Youth Centers of Duluth.  Valley Youth Centers know that it’s tough to be a kid these days. Academic standards are higher. Health issues linked to obesity and less active life styles are increasing. And positive adult role models can be harder to find. In their relaxed setting, kids can find the extra tutoring and homework help they need to do better in school. They stay physically active through a variety of indoor and outdoor games and adventures. And they learn leadership skills and how to make a positive contribution to their community. Most importantly, they give kids a safe place to have fun and just be kids.

This organization is near and dear to my heart, my father was instrumental in its creation years ago.  Mentoring, motivating, encouraging, and protecting kids is a family tradition for the Horton’s.   If the City of Duluth can’t provide these types of services for kids, they need to support the organizations that do.  Working together, more kids can be saved from a life rife with trouble, and the future for these kids, and our city will certainly be brighter.

Take a minute to  view the slideshow to learn about their programs and how positive kids programming can improve health and education, while decreasing the instances of crime, drug use and violence for our kids.

Click this link to view the slideshow