THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 15, 1999
MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE SECRETARY OF LABOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR DOMESTIC POLICY SUBJECT: White House Council on Youth Violence
Violence by youth and against youth is an issue that deeply concerns us all. Youth violence can be thought of as a juvenile crime issue, as a public health issue, and as a school safety issue. It affects every region and demographic group. As many recent incidents have made us aware, it is a problem that can strike with unexpected force -- and that now demands uncommonly unified responses. That is why I announced, on August 17, 1999, that a nonprofit, nonpartisan "National Campaign Against Youth Violence" had been established to bring together all segments of society to help prevent youth violence.
The Federal Government already addresses many aspects of youth violence through its programs. I am particularly proud of the joint efforts of the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Education in developing the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative. These agencies also worked well together to help us respond quickly to the Columbine High School incident. I have read with interest the report of the Attorney General's Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. I look forward to the report that the Surgeon General in response to my May request is preparing on the causes of youth violence. The Secretary of Labor's efforts to address the needs of youth are also about to bear fruit, as high-poverty communities implement our new Youth Opportunity Grants, and as the Secretary and the Attorney General finalize their agreement for cooperative work on those grants and on Labor's Youth Offender grant program.
With so many agencies and programs involved, and with the need for my Administration to work closely with different elements of State and local governments, tribes, schools, community groups, and families, it has become increasingly clear to me that the Federal Government needs a more effective policy coordination strategy for youth violence issues.
Therefore, today I direct the Assistant for Domestic Policy to form a White House Council on Youth Violence to provide this policy coordination, to provide flexible and timely responses to the challenge of youth violence, and to ensure that our Nation's citizens are able to benefit from the Federal Government's many antiviolence initiatives.
Structure of the Council
The Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy will chair the Council. The Office of the Vice President and the Office of Management and Budget will be regular participants. Four agency heads will be the regular program members of the Council:
The Chair of the Council may add such other officials as he deems appropriate to further the purposes of this overall effort or to participate in specific aspects of it. For example, matters relating to public health aspects would involve the Surgeon General. Matters relating to firearms control or drug abuse would involve the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of National Drug Control Policy, respectively. Implications for economic development policies would call for involvement of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce. Comparable policies for Indian country would engage the Secretary of the Interior. Issues relating to community service opportunities for youth would involve the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The Chair, after consultation with Council members, will appoint staff members to coordinate the Council's efforts. The Chair may call upon the participating agencies for logistical support to the Council, as necessary.
Duties of the Council
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
cc: The Vice President
The Secretary of the Treasury The Secretary of the Interior The Secretary of Agriculture The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development The Director of the Office of Management and Budget The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
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