President of Kidzamerica attended Illinois Republican Violent Crime Task Force Meeting

By Debra L. Solomon

President of Kidzamerica, Gary Goldman, is one of the invited speakers for the first meeting of the Illinois House Republican Violent Crime Task Force, January 30 at the public safety building in Cicero, 5410 34th St.

Goldman is a nationally recognized leader in education, community development and youth empowerment. He is coauthor of Empowering Students to Transform Schools. His non-profit's mission is to empower ALL youth to have their voices heard and partners with adults in making healthy and safe communities. He has organized a bi-partisan coalition of Illinois elected officials to create a statewide initiative of Youth-Centered Communities. His Youth-Centered Sister Community Forum, Chicago and Suburban communities (Palatine, Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Buffalo Grove, Belvidere, Englewood (Chicago) will be on Comcast in February, as well as being featured on CNN in March.

Illinois House Republican Violent Crime Task Force is made up of 3 GOP Reps. (2 attending-State Rep. John Millner and State Rep. Frank Aquilar) with law enforcement experience. Invited speakers for the Task Force meeting were: Law enforcement leaders and Police officers: Cicero; Berwyn Mayor, and Public Safety Director Frank Marzullo; Gary Goldman, President, International Quality Leadership Institute; Illinois Crime Authority, Prevent Crime and Invest in Kids; Illinois Police Chief Association; invited Cicero residents and Trustees, and former police chief of Morris, Illinois

The mission of the Task Force is to reach out to Illinois' urban areas facing a growing epidemic of drugs, murder, and other violent crimes associated with street gangs and bring together state and local elected officials, local and state law enforcement groups with various community-based youth programs aiming to keep young men and women out of street gangs. By going to these communities the House Republicans will actively seek solutions to a crime wave more devastating than organized crime.

"I was pleased to be one of the presenters at the Task Force meeting to talk about a new strategy of solving crime and making safer communities. I believe we need to be proactive versus reactive with our communities. What that means is to INVOLVE our youth as leaders and partners in identifying community challenges and new solutions. Our youth are often disconnected from their schools and society. It is time to let them know they have a place and a sense of belonging," said Goldman.

Post-article: Goldman met with State Rep. Frank Aguilar (Cicero) in early February to discuss next possible steps. He has expressed interest in a Fall 2004 Cicero/Berwyn youth-community forum.