Friday, July 17, 2009

MESSAGE FROM THE PEACE ALLIANCE - Youth PROMISE ACT Congressional Hearing - A Historic Success!

On Wednesday members of "The Peace Alliance" attended the Crime subcommittee congressional hearing on the Youth PROMISE Act (HR 1064). The room was PACKED with people. Attendees were sitting on the floor just for the opportunity to support the legislation or learn more about bill. The powerful witnesses at the hearing explained the need for the YPA, the effectiveness of prevention programs, and how the Youth PROMISE Act would pay for itself through the cost-savings of prevention initiatives. The attending members of Congress all engaged the panelists with questions and comments, including two Republicans that did not co-sponsor the bill but appeared to give serious consideration to the legislation.

As they sat in the hearing room, members of The Peace Alliance felt that they were watching history unfold. This one piece of legislation represents a transformational approach to how Congress handles violence in America: from an emphasis on being tough on crime to being smart on crime, from a focus on suppression to a focus on prevention. The room was alive with interest as the hearing came to a close, leading to great excitement about the possible next steps for the Youth PROMISE Act. After the hearing members of The Peace Alliance connected with the panelists and approached Bobby Scott to personally thank him for his commitment to this work.

Before the hearing Representative Scott's office held a press conference on Youth PROMISE Act that was also very successful and well attended. Scott's office requested that The Peace Alliance give a short speech at the press conference. Scott's staffers were so impressed with Aaron's words that they have requested he submit his speech to go on record for the Subcommittee hearing itself.

The Peace Alliance will continue to update everyone with all the exciting developments from Washington D.C. Thanks for all of your support and stay tuned for more great opportunities to support this incredible piece of legislation!

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