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Mayoral candidates discuss youth programs at NAACP forum

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | 12:36 a.m. CDT; updated 9:41 a.m. CDT, Thursday, March 18, 2010
Mayoral candidate Jerry Wade spoke from a portion of resolution R 62-10 — promoting the city of Columbia as a youth and family-friendly community — during Tuesday's mayoral forum sponsored by the NAACP. The forum featured candidates from the school board, council and mayoral races.

COLUMBIA — The NAACP forum Tuesday night might have discovered a topic that Columbia City Council, mayoral and school board candidates can all agree on: if the city supports youth programs, economic and social diversity might grow with it.

Although each candidate had different approaches to issues such as tax revenue, job growth and the Citizens Police Review Board, the forum questions, which were submitted on note cards and read by moderator Virginia Law, seemed to always drift back to focus on support and enrichment of youth programs.

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Mayoral candidates were asked to discuss and elaborate on Monday night’s council meeting about the Youth Resolution Program. The question asked what candidates would do to promote a positive, safe atmosphere for a more youth- and family-friendly community.

Candidate Sid Sullivan said creation of a youth services bureau could facilitate cooperation between police and parents. Keeping children out of police custody, unless as a last resort, could keep young people away from crime.

Candidates Sean O’Day, Paul Love and Bob McDavid outlined school and community programs for bolstering a community that supports its youth, such as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters or using school extracurricular activities as incentive to do well in school in order to participate in clubs students enjoy.

Another candidate, Jerry Wade, read from the resolution presented to the City Council on Monday night and said bringing young people to places like the Columbia Black Round Table and letting them speak would give the city a direction for helping disadvantaged youth.

Council Ward candidates also discussed, as one question was posed, ways to "combat, undo and ultimately dismantle racism," balance of power between the city manager and the council and diversity training for city workers and police officers.


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Comments

Ray Shapiro March 17, 2010 | 1:39 a.m.

("Jerry Wade, read from the resolution presented to the City Council on Monday night and said bringing young people to places like the Columbia Black Round Table and letting them speak would give the city a direction for helping disadvantaged youth.")
Inner city black youth have been around in Columbia almost as long as Jerry Wade has been around in Columbia.
And now, we suddenly hear about "his" family-friendly and the bringing of young people to places like the Columbia Black Round Table and letting them speak to give the city a direction for helping disadvantaged youth?
1. What good is allowing young people to vent to deaf ears?
It only frustrates them more and widens the chasm.
2. Sid Sullivan has the courage, knowledge, ability, skill and desire to truly bring all kinds of people together. He's already lived it in New York City and Chicago.
If you want the same old, same old, Vote Wade or McDavid.
If you desire a more cohesive, truly united Columbia, vote for Sid Sullivan.

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