1) How is your community one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in America? [500 word limit]
Long Beach, California is home to over 135,000 youth and children, as well as over 50,000 young adults. Even before birth, Long Beach provides services to children, with extensive pre and post-natal services offered to expecting mothers, regardless of ability to pay, and provided by the City-operated health department. Affordable, quality early care and education programs exist in all areas of the city.
School age children matriculate through the 91-school public school system, nationally recognized for excellence and for implementing a district-wide uniform policy to reduce potential violence and other inequities between students. From age 5 through 18, children and youth can participate in programs and services aimed at creating a connection between the young person and caring and positive adults.
Over 5,000 youth and children participate annually in a free publicly provided youth sports program. Long Beach serves 90,000 free summer lunches to children age 18 or younger, funded through United States Department of Agriculture. Approximately 73,000 children received library cards, most through an innovative library card campaign. Since 2004, upwards of 5,000 children and youth can and do participate in the over 40, 21st Century Community Learning Center after school programs, at no cost, and attend other privately funded after school programs.
Children and youth have access to enrichment programs and services through a network of over 150 public programs, as well as those sponsored by the wide variety of nonprofit organizations and agencies that serve youth, including Boys Scouts of America, Girls Scouts Council, Camp Fire USA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and YMCA, some with multiple branches citywide.
Public programs, which promote safety and positive relationships with public safety personnel, are available such as Police Athletic League programs, search and rescue programs, and the mentoring program at the local fire stations. Young people have the opportunity to learn job development skills at the local one-stop center, funded in part through the national Workforce Investment Act. Long Beach youth have the opportunity, and obligation to learn job skills and give back to the community through a mandatory service-learning program, which requires all students complete a minimum of 40 hours of service learning in order to graduate from high school.
Youth have the opportunity to become meaningfully engaged in civic issues and in matters that affect them through a membership on the City’s Commission on Youth and Children, on district level youth councils, and through participation in an innovative youth philanthropy program. Long Beach is home to an outstanding, accredited community college, as well as a world-class state university. A seamless education initiative links the nationally recognized Long Beach Unified School District (2003 Broad Prize for Urban Education) with both the community college and university systems.
These comprehensive and coordinated resources, available to all youth and children residing in the City of Long Beach, demonstrate that Long Beach is a community that delivers the Five Promises to its youth population, and absolutely is one of the best communities for young people!
Section 1: Innovation and Creativity in Policy, Resource and Practice for Children and Youth
1) Policy: How are children and youth a policy priority for your community? What public leaders are supportive and how do they act on that support? [500 word limit]
The well being of children and youth who reside in Long Beach is a central priority of both Long Beach officials and community leaders. A sample of policies which reflect that priority and are aligned with the Five Promises, include the following: The City of Long Beach Child Care Policy, a resolution adopted by the Long Beach City Council in 1987 and which expressed a commitment on the part of the City of Long Beach to expand childcare services. The priority of this policy has been demonstrated by the City’s appointment of a Child Care Coordinator, and by the development of the Community Plan for Shaping the Early Care and Education System (2003-2008).
Mayor Beverly O’Neill, Vice Mayor Jackie Kell and the entire City Council have long been advocates of quality early care and education programs and continue to support the efforts of the ongoing task force. The City of Long Beach Charter Promoting Quality of Life Through Youth Nutrition and Physical Activity, adopted by the City Council in 2001, responded to the growing epidemic of child and adolescent obesity recognized nation wide. A grassroots effort led by the then 54th Assembly member (currently Senator) Alan Lowenthal’s office and in partnership with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, has worked with the City’s Department of Health and Human Services, school district and community representatives to implement an aggressive plan of action to address the epidemic, and to advocate for supportive legislation on the local, state and national levels.
Currently, the grassroots effort has implemented the plan through HealthPass Long Beach, and established guiding principles of health that are made available throughout the city. The Long Beach Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Task Force was formed in 2004, in response to a report from the City’s Human Relations Commission on youth and gang violence. The task force, led by Deputy City Manager, Reggie Harrison includes representatives from major leadership sectors of the community, including faith-based, educational, youth, local government, law enforcement, business, media, neighborhood and non profit leaders.
The task force’s ongoing effort is to develop a strategic response to violence and to improve the safety and survival of the City’s residents. The Commission on Youth and Children, established in 2003 by the City Council, fulfills the objective of the City Strategic Plan 2010, Education and Youth component. The commission is comprised of an equal number of adults and youth who reside in and represent each city council district. Adult commissioners possess a high level of expertise in various sectors of youth and children’s services.
The adult/youth partnership structure encompasses equal and shared power in advising the City Council on issues that affect the City’s youth and children. The Commission also supports nine District Level Youth Advisory Councils where youth address issues with their respective city council member. This premier City commission ensures that the promise exists for the City’s young people to become meaningfully engaged in decisions that affect them.
2) Resources: What cross-sector partnerships and/ or collaborations (such as school-business, public-private, faith based- non profit, school-community) exist in your community? How do they ensure sustainability and evaluate success? [500 word limit]
As a demonstration of the City’s commitment to the goal of enhancing service to youth, the City’s Youth Services Coordinator within the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, manages the Long Beach Youth Services NETWORK (NETWORK) which serves as a cross-sector forum for exchange of information, resources, partnership opportunities and collaborations, and as a venue for a more seamless service system.
The NETWORK is overseen by leadership representatives from across the sectors and brings together public and private agencies to form a stronger local infrastructure for school age youth and children. The NETWORK serves as a community convener on youth issues. Local forums expose a wide membership to leading experts in youth policy and advocacy at the local, regional, statewide and national levels, such as Karen Pittman of The Forum for Youth Investment.
The NETWORK and its subcommittees host a membership over 350 individuals/agencies at quarterly meetings, and provides other informational services and management of a database of community resource information (www.longbeachyouth.org). The primary NETWORK subcommittee (After School Advocacy Partnership) meets to increase and improve after school options for youth and children, from which has emerged a multi-agency, citywide, after school program, funded in part by the 21st Century Community Learning Center program.
Additionally, all City departments work to support the NETWORK and to sustain coordinated services specific to their department’s mission, such as the Library Department’s Youth Services officer whose work includes building relationships, maximizing resources and collaborating on literacy-based projects with the Long Beach Unified School District and other agencies.
The City of Long Beach operates the Youth Opportunity Center, a one-stop center for young people, addressing the intent of the Workforce Investment Act by promising easy access to various agencies and their services aimed at preparing youth for the world of work. The City’s Community Development Department partners with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine connecting economically disadvantaged neighborhood youth with services funded in part by the Community Development Block Grant. In efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness, the Police Athletic League programs recently joined with Parks, Recreation and Marine to partner officers with recreation specialists.
Public/private collaborations exist as demonstrated by the James Irvine Foundation Community Initiative where the YMCA of Greater Long Beach collaborates with schools and community based partners to operate CORAL (Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning), a high quality academic enrichment program. A local chapter of Stand for Children exists to collectively support children and youth growing up healthy, educated and safe.
The Long Beach Education Foundation coordinates education initiatives and student needs with major local businesses and funders, including the Chamber of Commerce and Verizon’s annual Principal for a Day event, where community leaders are matched with schools to experience, first hand, the day-to-day challenges faced within the large school system.
These are only a sample of the extensive cross-sector partnerships, which sustain quality services through joint advocacy, training and evaluation, and shared resources, which results in a comprehensive youth service delivery system in Long Beach.
3) Practice: What challenges does/ has your community faced and how are you/ have you overcome them? What policies and programs have you implemented? Please identify age groups and issue areas addressed as well as outcome data (including trend data) if available. [500 word limit]
Long Beach children and youth have a very high rate of asthma and related health problems. In 2000, city health experts formed the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA). In 2003, the rate of prevalence of asthma stood at 15%, higher than the 7.9% county wide and higher than the national average. The LBACA group set out to mobilize the community to respond to air quality issues and to change the profile of childhood asthma in the most affected areas of the City. The alliance is currently in the process of tallying outcome data and results look promising in reducing the number of preventable urgent care and emergency room visits as well as hospitalizations due to asthma.
An unacceptable rate of incidents of violence and gang activity is documented in Long Beach. The Long Beach Police Department reports 57 gangs exist in the city with over 5,900 members, with 147 shootings and 31 gang related homicides recorded in 2002. The data also reports 7 youth age 1 - 17 were victims of homicide as well as 17 youth age 18 - 24. At the direction of the City Manager, a cross-sector task force formed to address the problem, which identified hot spots in the city, targeting 3 specific police beats in which to implement preventive programs.
As a component of the effort, in March of 2005, the local news media and cable carrier, along with the City and Leadership Long Beach, hosted a 40-hour live telethon called "Enough is Enough." The extensive community dialogue brought together over 150 community leaders, from grass roots organizations to government agencies, including youth, and raised awareness of the severity of the problem, exposed available resources, best practices and solutions. The goal of the task force is to increase prevention strategies to reduce harmful behavior to self and others and ultimately to decrease the number of violent incidents involving young people. The task force has implemented pilot programs within the target area and has created a united voice about violence that says, "Enough is Enough"!
A shared strategy to keep children safe and increase their academic achievement is to provide an ample number of no cost after school options. In early 2002, local leaders identified that the demand for after school programs far outweighed the available spaces. As a result of an aggressive campaign of networking, collaborative advocacy, and operational preparation, in 2004, local service providers were awarded approximately $20,000,000 in 21st Century Community Learning Center funds. The implementation of the Long Beach WRAP (Winners Reaching Amazing Potential) After School Program citywide increased program availability from 2 initial schools to over 46 elementary, middle and high schools and has increased the number of students served from 200 to over 6,000 daily.
An underlying problem affecting children is the city's overall capacity to serve them. The Knight Foundation’s Long Beach Youth Development Capacity Building Project promises a forthcoming strategic plan for enhancing the capacity of Long Beach youth-serving agencies to serve youth.
Section 2: Progress
1) Please describe your overall success in improving child and youth outcomes. Please include any trend data that has improved over time. How is your community becoming a better community for children and youth than it used to be? [500 word limit]
The City’s Strategic Plan 2010, (SP2010) adopted by the City Council in 2002, addresses the need to prioritize youth and children at the highest level, and to ensure that positive outcomes are experienced in each of the Five Promise areas. The SP2010 incorporated the input of community members, community leaders and experts in youth development and dedicated a major component to education and youth. The SP2010 brought a sense of urgency and unity to the effort to improve the well-being of the city’s youth population by aligning missions, goals and objectives with identified needs and congruent efforts to meet those needs.
The overarching recommendation of the SP2010 was that a commission be developed to maintain a focus on youth and that this oversight body publish data reflecting the status of the well-being of Long Beach children and youth as an initial baseline upon which to measure future success. The 19-member Commission on Youth and Children (CYC) resulted, which not only represents professionals within various youth and children’s sectors, but which also includes an equal number of youth members; the first appointed to any City commission or board.
The initial Profile of Long Beach Youth and Children (Profile) is based upon the 5 outcome areas adopted by the Los Angeles Children’s Planning Council, and sets forth basic demographic information as well as data within indicators for comparison to county and state. The outcome areas include good heath, safety and survival, economic well-being, social and emotional well-being, education and workforce readiness, and meaningful youth engagement, and closely mirror the Five Promises. The CYC also gave voice to youth and set the stage for shared decision making among youth and adults on matters that affect them.
Additional examples of improved outcomes which are reflected in the Profile include:
Long Beach schools are producing better test scores due to smaller class sizes and increased incentives for low performing schools to improve. In 2002, the Base API, which summarizes a school's performance on the Student Test and Reporting (STAR) and California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), stood at 648. Scaled from 200 to 1000, the 2004 the Base API for LBUSD was 696, a growth rate of 48.
The drop out rate for students in grades 9 – 12 has significantly decreased, from a rate of 11.1% in 1994-1995 to a rate of 3.6 in 2003-2004, due to enhanced alternative options for marginal students.
The Library developed Family Learning Centers providing access to technology, literature and dedicated homework help.
The Health Department addressed major health concerns of youth through progressive youth education programs, decreasing tobacco use, teenage pregnancy and chlamydial infection cases in teens.
After school programs offered have increased in both availability, affordability, accessibility and quality, and have had a positive affect on participants homework, grades, behavior and productive activity in the after school hours.
These efforts are reflective of a large urban city: one that has created a small-community atmosphere through an emphasis on taking care of its youngest citizens.
2) How will you work in the coming year to ensure that you continue to provide the resources necessary for all children and youth in your community? [500 word limit]
The City of Long Beach Strategic Plan 2010 sets forth a strategy for ensuring youth and children remain a priority. The plan tasks the City Commission on Youth and Children with monitoring the implementation of the action steps, as well as overseeing the system to measure the well-being of the city’s young people. Other initiatives are underway within the City of Long Beach that will help to ensure that resources are available for all children and youth and that those resources are resulting in positive outcomes in the Five Promise areas:
1) The City of Long Beach has initiated the development of a comprehensive performance management system that will distinguish programs that serve youth from all other city services. This system will realign services to youth and children, and requires the identification of measures, demands for services, tangible outcome data and efficiency measures. The City’s effort ultimately will allow for the identification of a comprehensive children’s "budget" aligned with positive outcomes, thereby justifying and demanding effective and efficient programming on behalf of youth and children.
2) The City of Long Beach Commission on Youth and Children has voted to sponsor, organize and facilitate a Mayoral Candidates Forum in the spring of 2006. The forum will be designed to identify each candidate's position on issues that affect youth and children. Youth and adult members of the commission want to bring attention to the commitment the candidates make, that if elected, they will keep the Five Promises to the City’s youth, and assure that young people remain a high priority in Long Beach.
3) The Youth Development Capacity Building Project promises to result in a strategic plan for enhancing capacity building services to Long Beach youth-serving nonprofits. This plan will be presented to a convening of foundations and other funds, nonprofits and capacity building providers, producing a collaborative response to the challenge of providing and maintaining a high level of services to youth in the City of Long Beach.
4) The City’s Workforce Development Board’s Youth Council will continue to work towards a multi-faceted approach to young people’s work readiness and employment and to encourage support by more local business for the City’s intern initiative whereby business are compensated for providing internships for young people.
5) The City of Long Beach is partnering with the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council, and the City of Los Angeles in support of a city leaders summit in October 2006, focused on linking early childhood success to city’s local economic and workforce success. The summit is intended to raise city, county and state officials awareness of the value of investing in early care and education services.
6)The City’s After School Advocacy Partnership will again host a local Lights On After School! event, in cooperation with the national After School Alliance. This will be the City’s annual celebration of the marked improvement in after school options and will serve to remind local, regional, state and national leaders of the importance of maintaining resources for after school programs.
Section 3: Community Supports for Children and Youth
1) Are there one or more standing, cross-sector collaborations working on behalf of children and youth in your community? [sectors include public, private, and non-profit]
If so, who leads and participates, what is its/ their mandate and what are its/ their accomplishments? [200 word limit]
Long Beach has several standing collaborations aimed at fostering cooperation between youth serving organizations, the primary being the Long Beach Youth Services NETWORK. The mission of the NETWORK is to maintain a forum for public, private and non-profit youth serving agencies to work together on behalf of the youth of Long Beach.
Organizations share their respective visions, programs, expectations and obstacles and identify partnership opportunities. The NETWORK provides leadership on issues of local and regional significance to improve the quality and quantity of youth and family services through collaboration, education, training and assistance. The Youth Services NETWORK is staffed by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, along with representatives from other City departments and from community based agencies that play key roles on the Executive Planning Committee.
The NETWORK has been successful at coordinating information on the over 200 youth serving organizations in the city, by maintaining a web site database of organizational information. The NETWORK has also played an important role in helping to achieve the implementation of a city wide commission focused on youth and children, and has provided a substantial number of individuals and organizations with education and critical information on youth work.
2) Does your community have one or more major forums for public and private funders to develop joint priorities, such as a children’s cabinet, an interagency task force, a regional area grant makers association, or a public-private coordinating council?
If so, what are they, what ages and issues do they focus on, who participates, and what have they accomplished? [100 word limit]
Some private and public funders have been utilizing the City’s recent Profile of Long Beach Youth and Children. Data reflective of the status of the City's youth population and focused on birth to age 18, as well as young adults age 19-24 has helped to set a baseline for prioritizing needs. The future looks promising, with the continued publication of this data and the resultant ability to identify trend data. The Long Beach Youth Development Capacity Building Project promises to present their findings later this year, to a convening of funders in order to identify priorities.
3) Is there an established mechanism to cultivate and support youth leadership and to give youth a voice in policy decisions in your community?
If so, what are they and what have they accomplished. [100 word limit]
Nine youth are members of the City's Commission on Youth and Children, each representing one of the 9 City Council districts. Over 150 more young people participate in their District Level Youth Advisory Councils, weighing in on complex issues and leading local events and projects. Youth commissioners share the power with the adult members of the commission, have equal voting privileges, share the responsibility of reaching out to the entire youth population and equally represent the commission at local, regional statewide and national events. Long Beach's commission has as its tag line "where the voices of youth matter."
4) Does your community have one or more strategic planning/ needs assessment guides?
If yes, does this include youth voice/ perspective?
If yes, does this provide the basis for your children and youth programming community-wide?
5) Does your community conduct a community report card for children and youth?
If so, please click the "Browse" button to load your file. [We presume city staff did so.]
6) Has your community created one or more public awareness campaigns to promote positive images to youth and supporting?
If so, what are they, what ages and issues do they focus on, what are their mandates and what have they accomplished. [100 word limit]
An example of a public awareness campaing is the Health Department's Tobacco Education Program which works with middle and high school age youth from community groups and public health prevention programs to assess community retail outlets and other venues that sell tobacco products in efforts to raise the awareness of California Penal Code 308. Working under waiver from the District Attorney's Office, more than 30 local youth have participated in surveying stores, ice cream trucks, gas station outlets and catering trucks and have provided assessment data which shows a high percentage of retail venues illegally sell to underage minors.
Section 4: Resources Youth Receive
Definition: Every child and youth needs and deserves support and guidance from caring adults in their families, schools, and communities, including ongoing, secure relationships with parents and other family adults, as well as multiple and consistent formal and informal positive relationships with teachers, mentors, coaches, youth volunteers, and neighbors.
Indicators of interest include PTA membership in community.
Demonstrations of this promise to young people in Long Beach are too numerous to capture in this application. Some specific examples that support this promise include the nonprofit Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning After School Today) program that assigns local university students and seniors to after school programs as mentors and tutors. In 2004-2005 BLAST placed over 500 volunteers at 30 after school programs throughout the city. The Library’s Family Learning Centers match homework helpers with participants and with teen librarians, and the Fire Department offers the RESCUE Program, a mentoring program matching selected 13-14 year olds with firefighters, a program affiliated with the LA County District Attorney’s Office. Long Beach Camp Fire USA provides the Youth Empowerment Strategies (YES) program to teens in grades 6-12 who learn communication, problem solving and goal setting from adult group leaders, and Operation Jump Start matches 55 adult mentors annually with disadvantaged youth.
Definition: Every child and youth needs and deserves to be physically and emotionally safe everywhere they are -- from the actual places of families, schools, neighborhoods and communities to the virtual places of media -- and to have an appropriate balance of structured, supervised activities and unstructured, unscheduled time.
Indicators of interest include data on green spaces, parks and sidewalks in your community.
Over 92 parks, covering 3,100 acres exist within the boundaries of Long Beach, providing safe and structured activities to our young residents and their families.
Over 60 youth programs, operated by the City alone, provide opportunities for youth to participate in supervised activities, including 5 teen centers, a citywide youth sports program, summer day camps, school and park based after school and weekend supervised recreation programs, the Long Beach WRAP program at 45 sites, a 102.5 acre Nature Center, 3 Police Athletic League (PAL) locations, 12 Family Learning Centers and mobile skate and recreation programs which bring supervised recreation to inner city neighborhoods where parks are not easily accessible. Five major community based organizations including Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Camp Fire USA, Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA operate programs at multiple locations where youth can access their nationally recognized programs along with those offered by smaller, neighborhood-based organizations.
A Healthy Start:
Definition: Every child and youth needs and deserves the healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthful habits and choices resulting from regular well-child/youth health care and needed treatment, good nutrition and exercise, comprehensive health knowledge and skills, and role models of physical and psychological health.
Indicators of interest include data on SCHIP programs and waiting lists.
The promise of a healthy start and continued health from birth through young adulthood is widely evident. The Department of Health and Human Services ensures that all children have access to quality, well-child check-ups, health screenings, immunizations and age-appropriate health education. The Medi-Cal and Healthy Families outreach programs work collaboratively with community agencies to ensure that all children are enrolled in health insurance, and the immunization program ensures that families have access to required and recommended vaccines.
The Children’s Clinic provides medical care and counseling for acute and chronic care for children age birth through 17, at four locations, regardless of ability to pay. The Healthy Active Long Beach program provides multiple services that enhance the lives of young people through free nutrition education classes for low-income families and the PATHS (Peer Advocates Teaching Healthier Solutions) Program aims to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies within a peer advocate environment.
Definition: Every child and youth needs and deserves the intellectual development, motivation, and personal, social-emotional, and cultural skills needed for successful work and lifelong learning in a diverse nation, as a result of having quality learning environments, challenging expectations, and consistent formal and informal guidance and mentoring.
Indicators of interest include data on percent of qualified teachers, cultural education and competency.
Long Beach's school district was distinguished as the best urban school district in the nation, receiving the 2003 Broad Prize for Urban Education, and demonstrating the promise to offer effective education to all youth. A community college is accessible and the California State University at Long Beach rounds out the seamless public education system through which resident young people can matriculate. For those students who struggle within the traditional educational setting, the Federal Job Corps Center in Long Beach provides them an opportunity to develop job skills and credentials and a number of alternative education options exist, ensuring all youth have the opportunity to complete secondary school, and be prepared for the world of work. Long Beach has been distinguished as the most diverse city in the nation, thus programs such as the National Conference on Community Justice's Building Bridges Program exists at schools to promote cultural tolerance.
Opportunities to Help Others:
Definition: Every child and youth needs and deserves the chance to make a difference – in their families, schools, communities, nation and world – through having models of caring behavior, awareness of the needs of others, a sense of personal responsibility to contribute to larger society, and opportunities for volunteering, leadership and service.
Indicators of interest include data on civic and character education and service-learning in your community.
Since 1998, character education has been a mandate of all 92 schools within the Long Beach Unified School District, requiring each school to select from a set of materials, and to ensure that character education is interwoven with regular curriculum. Another school-based initiative mandates that beginning with the graduating class of 2007, all students must complete 40 hours of service learning in order to graduate. Anticipating a 100% completion rate, approximately 7466 students now in their sophomore year will complete over 298,640 hours of community service. A youth philanthropy initiative, overseen by the Commission on Youth and Children is in its 3rd year, and teaches youth members how to develop a community action-based request for proposal (RFP), and how to determine which youth-driven proposals are eligible for award. The project, originally initiated by the Irvine Foundation has granted over $32,000 through this "from youth, to youth" philanthropy program.
Section 5: Children and Youth Outcomes
Community Indicator Data Point: Public High School Graduation Rate for Long Beach Unified School District = 84.8% compared to 82% for all of Los Angeles County
Source: California Department of Education
Community Indicator Data Point : 91% of Grade 9 2003 survey participants perceived that frequent use of marijuana is harmful; compared to 88% in 2001
Source: California Healthy Kids Survey
Community Indicator Data Point: Percent of newborns with low birthweight = 7.9% as compared with 7% countywide.
Source: California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics
Community Indicator Data Point: Teen pregnancy rates in Long Beach have been reduced from 6.0 in 2000 to 4.6 in 2003. Rate is per 100 females ages 15 - 19
Source: California Department of Health Services
Community Indicator Data Point: Employment to population ratio of non-enrolled, 16-24 year old youth = 56.9% as compared to 63. 4% statewide.
Source: City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board Youth
Community Indicator Data Point: Number of Youth seated as members on Policy Making or Advisory Boards = 693
Source: Long Beach Commission on Youth and Children Annual Report
Section 6: Technological/ Youth Voice [these were files we couldn't decode]
Section 7: Reference[s]
[Listed Beverly O'Neill, Mayor; Michelle Perrenoud, Mindset Solutions; Don Rodriguez, Exec Dir. Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Pierre Batton, Co-Chair, Commission on Youth and Children; Alan Lowenthal, State Senator.