Mayor Ballard traveling to Washington D.C. to discuss youth violence

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By Michael Henrich

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 21, 2014) -- Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is traveling to Washington, D.C., Monday to address the topic of youth violence.

Ballard will meet with senior White House officials and other mayors, as well as attend a town hall meeting with President Obama concerning "My Brother's Keeper," an initiative designed to address gaps faced by boys and young men, who are African American and other racial minorities.

This trip marks the third time in a little more than a year that Mayor Ballard has participated in meetings in the nation's capitol on the topic of youth violence.

On Friday, Ballard spoke about the issue while at an event announcing a $35,000 donation to be used to help young people find summer jobs.

"A job gives a person a sense of accomplishment and a way to support themselves.  It can also help deter a person from turning to a life of crime," the mayor said Friday.  "As the city holds a broader discussion about reducing violence and making our neighborhoods safer, we need more announcements like [the summer jobs program.]"

Ballard continued by saying the issue of tackling youth violence is more complicated than some might suggest.

"Some take the easy road and call it a failure of police departments.  I believe it's a much broader problem that needs to get at the root causes of crime," he said.  "That includes family, education and our criminal justice system."