National Policy Alliance

Propose Emergency Resolution On Homicide as the Leading Cause of Death Among Young African American Males
WHEREAS, homicide is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15 to 44 years worldwide; and

WHEREAS, many more people die from homicide than from war; and

WHEREAS, worldwide for every death due to war, there are three deaths due to homicide; and

WHEREAS,  African American males between the ages of 18 and 35 have a 40 to 50% chance of dying or being incarcerated by their 36th birthday as a result of a shooting, violent crime or murder; and

WHEREAS, while African Americans comprise 14% of the United States population, 43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American, 93.1% of whom were killed by African Americans; and

WHEREAS, a 2007 U. S. Department of Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study concluded that the leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 is homicide; and

WHEREAS, the same study concluded that the second leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 1 and 4 and 10 and 14 is homicide; and

WHEREAS, behavioral and mood disorders of perpetrators of violence, are critical aspects of the violence that leads to homicide; and

WHEREAS, the resulting psychological and physical impact on victims and their families, leading to mental health issues, requires the immediate attention of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the effects of violence extend far beyond the impact on individuals’ health and livelihoods – they shape the well-being and social fabric of families and communities, and can have a negative impact on a city’s economic prospects; and

WHEREAS, each year, nearly $4.5 billion is spent nationally on healthcare related to violence, including burial costs, counseling services, healthcare costs, property damage, lost jobs and lost industry; and

WHEREAS, alcohol and drug addictions significantly contribute to the commission of violent crime; and

WHEREAS, though violence is pervasive, evidence suggests that the factors that contribute to violent responses – whether they are factors of attitude and behavior or related to larger social, economic, political and cultural conditions – can be changed, and that violence can be prevented; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has documented scientific evidence that the following interventions effectively prevent violence: 1) developing safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and their parents and caregivers through home visiting programs and child-rearing education; 2) developing life skills in children and adolescents; 3) reducing the availability and harmful use of alcohol by reducing the number of alcohol retail outlets and offering interventions and treatment for problem drinkers; 4) reducing access to guns and knives through enforced bans on carrying firearms in public; and 5) promoting gender equality to prevent violence against women through school and community interventions and education; and

WHEREAS, this resolution constitutes an emergency measure for the immediate preservation of public peace, property, health and safety.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS OF LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS adopts this resolution as an emergency initiative for the purpose of saving more lives and preserving the mental and physical wellbeing of families in our communities and requests that the National League of Cities advances this message to its advocacy priorities for 2012 and continuing until there is a significant reduction in the statistics.

Submitted by City Councilmember Deborah Delgado, President, NBC-LEO