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Brooklyn Park mayor part of nationwide initiative to help youth

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Published on Dec 19, 2016

Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde says there's still a lot to do when it comes to closing an opportunity gap for young people of color. The city has been part of an effort to do that called My Brother's Keeper, and after a recent White House summit, the mayor says that will continue.
"This work isn't going to be a three-year endeavor, it's going to be a generational type effort," said Lunde. "We've scratched the surface, but we have a lot of work to do."
Brooklyn Park was on board quickly when President Obama launched the program three years ago. It's designed to help young people of color have the opportunity to find the skills they need to succeed. The goals include finishing school, finding a job and reducing violence.
Mayor Lunde says the program will continue even after Obama leaves office.
"The plight that's affecting so many of these young boys isn't about politics, it's about opportunity. We need to look past that," said Lunde. "I think that's kind of what the message was."
Lunde sees this is as a community-driven project with the city acting as a coordinator. After his meeting at the White House, Lunde says there will be a focus on mentorships that he hopes can lead to the kind of opportunity that can change other problems.
"It costs less to stop a kid from getting into trouble than to wait until they get into trouble," he said.
Mayor Lunde says he's been asked to be a member of a national board for My Brothers Keeper. He says that should help get Brooklyn Park's efforts in front of a national audience.
Mike Johnson, reporting
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