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November 6, 1984

Mr. McDowell Frazier, Jr.
[personal information removed]

Dear Mr. Frazier:

Thank you for your recent letter in which you expressed your concern over recent events involving street gangs in our community.

We must take the necessary steps, on every level of government, to put an end to this senseless and tragic violence. The people of our community should not have to live in a constant climate of fear and intimidation.

In the short run, we must secure the safety and protection of our citizens. We must make sure that appropriate law enforcement resources are available to reduce criminal activity. In addition, we must expand gang prevention programs to seek solutions to diffuse the violent impact of gang-warfare.

In the long run we must adopt hard-hitting educational and employment strategies that help deter young people from gang involvement. We need sound educational programs, especially in the early years, to stop young people from dropping out of school. We must also provide jobs as a means of breaking out the cycle of idleness, despair, and anti-social behavior.

On the Federal level, I have introduced the Youth Incentive Employment Act. This bill would create jobs for youth if they agree to stay in school or who have dropped out and agree to return. I have also introduced the Effective Schools Development in Education Act, which promotes educational strategies to help educationally disadvantaged students improve their basic skills capability. With some schools in our area reporting drop-out rates of 70 percent, it is imperative that we introduce measures and teaching techniques to keep teenagers in the classroom and out of the streets.

As Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and a member of the Congressional Crime Caucus, I am committed toward working with


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Mr. McDowell Fraizer, Jr.
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November 6, 1984

with state and local authorities in resolving this critical problem of crime in our community.

Again, I thank you for writing to me on this very important issue and please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on other matters of importance to you and our community.

Sincerely,
Augustus F. Hawkins
Member of Congress

AFH: mm/k