Friday, July 17, 2009

Youth PROMISE Act Close to Reality - 228 cosponsors!

The grassroots campaign to garner support for H.R. 1064 - the Youth PROMISE act - continues to build momentum. The number of co-sponsors has risen dramatically since the bill was first introduced in February, climbing to 228 cosponsors as of this writing. This total includes 18 Republicans, so even Conservatives recognize the value of evidence-based programs that are tailored to meet the needs of local environments to address the root causes of youth violence. Dealing with the root issues at the front end will save a lot of tax money compared to dealing with the after effects of violence.

On July 15, there was a hearing on H.R. 1064 in the Crime Subcommittee (part of the House Judiciary committee). Several expert witnesses spoke in favor of the legislation and offered detailed explanation about why we have every reason to expect the approaches offered by the Youth PROMISE act will be effective at reducing violence where other legislation has failed. You can read a summary account of the hearing on DoPeace, the social networking site for peacebuilding activists.

Because of the extensive bipartisan support for H.R. 1064, and because of the positive hearing in the Crime subcommittee, it looks like the next step for the bill is to get a recommendation from the Judiciary committee and then to the House floor for a vote. This will likely occur after the summer recess, so look forward to more activity in the fall. It a very exciting time for the grassroots!

If you haven't already done so, please visit Change.org to learn about the Youth PROMISE bill and to send a letter to your elected officials asking for their support. The more support we can get going into the Fall legislative session, the more likely H.R. 1064 will become law in the 111th Congress!



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