Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Fall Futures Forum Begins to Explore Early Childhood Issues

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Fall Futures Forum Begins to Explore Early Childhood Issues

Article excerpt

"It is important that local elected officials make their constituents and community stakeholders aware that successful childhood development is essential to creating healthy and competitive communities in America."

That is how NLC Second Vice President John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor of New Haven, Conn., began as he explained his choice for the 2002 NLC Futures Topic, "Successful Early Childhood," to the Fall Futures Forum participants on October 25.

DeStefano hosted the forum at the NLC offices and engaged representatives from the NLC Advisory Council and field experts in discussions of why his topic is an important one for municipal officials and the communities they serve. He noted that municipal officials are in a position to develop an agenda for focusing attention to this topic.

Forum participants discussed establishing partnerships with major institutions that are important for children to be successful -- schools, public health institutions, families, day care facilities, etc. They noted that municipal officials could take a lead in developing these partnerships.

During this session, DeStefano spoke about approaching the futures topic through various aspects of NLC's recent agendas, especially Undoing Racism. He indicated the disparities by race and class that affect the likeliness of early childhood success as being of particular concern.

He will present his topic to the NLC Advisory Council in December at the Congress of Cities in Atlanta. …

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