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Honolulu Named One of the Nation’s

100 Best Communities for Young People

by America’s Promise Alliance


            America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest alliance dedicated to children and youth, in partnership with Capital One, has announced that the City and County of Honolulu has been named a winner of its 2008 100 Best Communities for Young People competition.  The 100 Best competition recognizes the 100 outstanding communities across America—large and small, rural and urban—that are the best places for young people to live and grow up.  More than 300 communities in all 50 states applied for the honor this year.


            Honolulu was named a 100 Best community because of the progress the area has made in helping the challenges facing its young people.


            “The prosperity of every community and this country depends on how well we care for our children and youth,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance.  “Although no place is perfect, when we have communities that make young people a priority and are working to make sure they stay in school and have all the resources necessary to lead healthy, productive lives, we must recognize them and by extension inspire other cities and towns to follow their lead.”


            Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said, “This recognition validates the efforts being made by the City and County of Honolulu, through our departments of Community Services and Parks and Recreation and the Honolulu Police Department, to provide safe and meaningful programs for our youth, particularly those who face social and educational hurdles.


            “Our Alternative Diploma Program, which is operated as a partnership between the Farrington Community School for Adults and our City Youth Services Center, was cited in particular as a model program.  Teenagers (16-18 years old), upon completion of the program and serving 100 hours, receive a competency-based high school diploma.  Our City administration is very committed to helping the State Department of Education achieve its objectives. .  As further validation of our efforts, I was pleased to have learned just this week that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has deemed our Juvenile Justice Center as a national ‘Best Practice.’



            “Congratulations to all our hard-working City employees, especially Lei Nakamura of our Department of Community Services, involved in bringing this outstanding national recognition to our island home.”


            Alma Powell, the wife of America’s Promise Alliance founder General Colin Powell, is the Chair of the organization.  She said, “All of those selected to be recognized as one of the 100 Best have worked hard to create environments where children and families have boundless opportunities as well as the support systems necessary to champion their growth and encourage their success.”


            The 100 Best competition was first held in 2005.  This year’s winners were selected by a distinguished panel that included some of the nation’s most well-known civic, business, and nonprofit leaders, such as Gayle Manchin, first lady of West Virginia; United Way President Brian Gallagher; former Mayor of Denver and President of Webb Group International, Wellington Webb; Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities; Christine James-Brown, president and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America; and Dr. Suzanne Morse, executive director of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.


            All communities that completed entries in the 100 Best competition were required to submit detailed information to the Alliance on existing community programs and initiatives that help deliver the Five Promises—resources identified by America’s Promise as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others.  Applicants were also asked to describe how different sectors of their community come together to deliver the Five Promises and specific efforts and programs developed to ensure that their young people graduate from high school and be prepared for college and the workforce.  Each of these communities, regardless of whether they were selected as winners, will be eligible to apply for $300,000 in grants from the Alliance next month.


            More details about the 100 Best competition and a complete list of the 2008 winners are available at


            Mayor Hannemann will be speaking this evening at the Milano The New School “Urban Conversations” Series in New York City.  He’ll be joined by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York for a discussion on “Strong Economies for America’s Cities.”


            The mayor traveled by train to New York from Washington, D.C., where he led the US Conference of Mayors first-ever Plenary Session on “Promoting Travel and Tourism.”  Among those speaking at the session were US Senator Dan Inouye, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Bill Marriott and Jonathan Tisch.  Due in large part to Mayor Hannemann’s efforts, the US Conference of Mayors has included, for the first time, Tourism and the Arts in its 10-Point Action Plan, calling for increasing travel to the United State through visa reforms, entry improvements and promotion as well as a Cabinet level Secretary of Culture and Tourism and federal support for the city of Chicago’s bid to host the Olympics in 2016.  The Mayors also plan to schedule a Presidential Forum in May with both Democratic and Republican candidates.



Bill Brennan, 525-6928

Friday, January 25, 2008

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