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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 14, 1996



The President today announced that the White House Leadership Conference on Youth Drug Use and Violence will be held Thursday, March 7, 1996. The conference site will be Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The President and other top Administration officials will help lead conference sessions. Participants are expected to include Attorney General Janet Reno, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Education Secretary Richard Riley, HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Transportation Secretary Federico Pena, National Service Director Harris Wofford, and Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Carol Rasco. In addition, General Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton's nominee for Director of National Drug Control Policy, will also be invited to assist in the conference if he is confirmed by that time. Approximately 300 persons who are national or community leaders in various aspects of America's battle against youth involvement in drugs and violence are invited to the all-day session.

The purpose of the conference is to educate the public and enlist the support of leaders from all sectors of society in a national private/public partnership to reduce adolescent drug use and violence. While we are seeing real headway in reducing serious crime as a whole, much of it drug-related, to its lowest recorded level ever, we are also witnessing a troubling change in young people's attitudes towards drugs and an increase in violent juvenile offenses. The conference will highlight the problem of rising youth drug use and violence and help create the public awareness needed to support efforts to impact this problem. The conference will discuss solutions, provide information on resources, and provide a framework for the 1996 National Drug Control Strategy and other federal activities to address youth drug use and violence for the next year.

In addition to plenary sessions, there will be round table discussions chaired by cabinet officials and consisting of prevention specialists, treatment experts, juvenile justice practitioners, judges, police, youth, parents, clergy, prosecutors/defenders, educators, academia, business, community activists, entertainment, and media.

Ten cities will have satellite conferences concurrent with the Washington conference. Administration officials will join the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America in organizing and participating in these satellite conferences, to be connected by television to the Washington conference. The ten cities are: Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit, MI; Seattle/Tacoma, WA; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; and Atlanta, GA. There may be additional events around the country as well.

The Washington conference will last from 9:00 A.M. - approximately 5:00 P.M. The plenary session including remarks by the President, Vice President, youth representatives, and others will begin at approximately 10:00 A.M., to be followed by the round table break-out sessions and a panel discussion including reports from the round tables.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Media with questions should call the Office of National Drug Control Policy Office of Public Affairs at (202) 395-6618.