Sigh. I wasn't a fan of Charlie Hales during the mayor's race, but I was hoping for the best. While his early moves on assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips were good, the announcement yesterday was just absurd.
You see, Hales announced that he's cutting $395,000 in funding from summer youth employment programs. Nevermind that those programs keep young people off the streets, create a pathway to long-term employment, and set a bunch of kids on the right path. Nevermind that it's good policy.
What's interesting to me is that Hales specifically promised to protect - nay, expand - these programs should he become mayor. From his campaign website - still live, by the way:
We need to increase job opportunities and workforce training to people living in poverty. Nationally, cities that do not have enough available jobs have the highest youth crime rates. Youths living in poverty often choose to go down the wrong path because they see no other opportunities. I would like to expand Mayor Adam’s successful Summer Youth Connect program, which helps kids figure out potential career interests, provides job readiness training, targets academic skill-building, and provides 180 hours of paid work experience.
I'm really having trouble seeing how to square "I would like to expand Mayor Adam’s successful Summer Youth Connect program" with "I'm cutting $200,000 from the Summer Youth Connect program."
Here's hoping it's a one-off stumble, rather than a sign of things to come.
Update, 1/26: I received a response from the Office of the Mayor. It's posted below.