Breaking News

Sly James kicks off conversation between President Obama and mayors about youth violence

Updated: 2013-08-28T05:38:08Z

By LYNN HORSLEY

The Kansas City Star

President Barack Obama wasted no time Tuesday in calling on Kansas City Mayor Sly James during a White House discussion with big-city mayors about youth violence.

“We’ll start with you, Sly,” is how the president started the meeting, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.

The conversation also featured 17 other mayors and Attorney General Eric Holder.

“I was honored to be a part of this initial exchange of ideas,” said James, whose prepared remarks attributed Kansas City’s youth violence problem to poverty, lack of educational attainment and access to guns.

The mayor talked about how half of Kansas City’s homicides can be traced to a 13-square-mile segment of the 319-square-mile city. He said that for too many teenage boys living in that part of town, everyone in their world has a gun.

In a news release from the White House, Obama pledged to do everything in his power to combat gun violence and to press Congress to pass common-sense reforms.

James said he is looking forward to future conversations and learning about successful programs that combat the problem.

Other cities represented included St. Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Memphis.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here