This morning, Attorney General Michael Mukasey gave a speech at the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives National Conference, which takes place today and tomorrow in D.C. The title of his speech, delivered moments ago, was "Victory of the Level Playing Field," and in it, he referred to the office's gang outreach initiatives -- and singled out one metropolitan area by name. The only one, matter of fact. Guess which. OK, fine. Not like it isn't in the headline, anyway.
Through our Gang Reduction and Intervention Program and our Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, we have funded large numbers of faith-based and community groups that aim to give kids and their families healthy -- and safe -- alternatives to gang involvement. The results have been impressive. For example, the Dallas-Fort Worth site reports that, of 900 former gang members and other at-risk youth who participated in its programs in 2007, not one -- that’s right, not even a single one -- committed an offense during that school year. Moreover, their school attendance and family relationships improved during the same period.
Imagine if you attached GPS devices to 'em. Not so incidentally, there's an Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives conference scheduled in Dallas on August 29 at the Westin Park Central. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.