Mayor Greenberg, Metro Youth Cabinet kick-off 2023 National Youth Violence Prevention Week
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - From 2019 to 2021, homicides involving youth from ages 15-24 have tripled.
One thing Metro Government has done to combat it is by adding a Youth Cabinet that includes young people across Louisville.
They hosted a press conference Monday to announce the youth-led events during National Youth Violence Prevention Week.
Mayor Craig Greenberg made it clear he wants to end violence in Louisville, especially among youth.
The rise in violent deaths among the youth has created holes in the community that can’t be filled.
A trend that shows youth homicides tripling from 2019-2021.
“From 20 homicides to 60 homicides,” Greenberg said. “That’s horrifying, that’s heart-breaking and that’s completely unacceptable.”
One of the solutions is the Metro Youth Cabinet.
The members are a group of young people from Louisville representing all 26 districts to be a voice for their communities.
The chance to create change is an opportunity a lot of them couldn’t pass up.
“I don’t know a lot of places that would willingly give their time to youth and hear from youth for such important decisions,” said Metro Youth Cabinet representative Anja Hamblin. “And so seeing that our community is doing it and that our community is likely leading the pathway for that. I think that’s very important and I’m proud of Louisville for doing that.”
Hamblin represents District 1 and attends Male High School and says she’s going to Harvard College.
She along with the rest of the cabinet is leading several events each day as a part of National Youth Violence Prevention Week.
The youth cabinet hopes their suggestions will protect the future leaders of Louisville.
“I just think that if the youth were encouraged more and the youth had the opportunities to put themselves out there and to know they are capable, then I think we would see a lot less youth violence,” Hamblin said.
“One of the things that we’re really focusing on is our partnership with JCPS,” said Metro Youth Cabinet District 15 Representative Zion Smith. “As I kind of mentioned earlier, it starts with the schools and making sure that all these non-profits who are always applying for grant funding should get it because they are the frontline people.”
Ideas the cabinet feels will make a difference, as long as the metro government listens. Greenberg agrees.
“We are already taking action,” Greenberg said. “That will continue to be our goal. You will see in some of the actions we are taking every week that we continue to work towards that goal and then we will continue to invest in that goal in our budget proposal in about a little bit over a month.”
Smith is currently a student at UofL. He said he saw one of his friends gunned down, and he wants to ensure no one else in the city experiences that again. He felt joining the Youth Cabinet is a way to accomplish that.
“It feels like we’re being heard,” shared Smith. “That’s one thing I commend the mayor on is that we actually have a voice at the table and hopefully we can continue to have that voice in the coming years but it’s been great.”
Greenberg says there are still four vacant spots on the Cabinet for districts 7,10, 11 and 18. If you are at least 16 years old and live in Louisville, you are qualified to join this team and be a part of the change.
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