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New York City Promises to Uplift Black and Latino Youth

As promising as New York City can be for young professionals, the city has not always been a great place for young black and Latino men to prosper. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his administration recognize that. And they are planning to do something to fix it.

Bloomberg’s administration has announced that they are willing to spend nearly $130 million to long-term measures to help improve civic, educational, and economic opportunities for the city’s minority youth, the New York Times reports. Nearly 315,000 of the city’s population fall into this category as individuals who are unemployed, undereducated, or incarcerated.

Bloomberg plans to write off a quarter of the check for the fiscal and social push from his own pocket. $30 million contribution will come from Mayor Bloomberg’s foundation along with a matching donation from billionaire and hedge fund manager George Soros. The city would cover the remainder of the costs.

To pay for the endeavor in a time of fiscal austerity, the city is relying on an unusual source: Mr. Bloomberg himself, who intends to use his personal fortune to cover about a quarter of the cost, city officials said. A $30 million contribution from Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation would be matched by that of a fellow billionaire, George Soros, a hedge fund manager, with the remainder being paid for by the city.

The administration plans to place job-recruitment centers in public-housing areas where young black and Latino men live beginning this fall. In addition, probation officers will be retrained to help reduce recidivism, fatherhood classes will be established, and public schools will be reassessed for the performance progress of black and Latino students.

Mayor Bloomberg plans to make an announcement about the three-year revitalization program in a speech Thursday morning in Manhattan.

Mr. Bloomberg plans to announce the three-year program in a speech on Thursday morning in Manhattan, in which he will declare that “blacks and Latinos are not fully sharing in the promise of American freedom.”

Even as crime has fallen and graduation rates have risen in New York over the past decade, city officials said that black and Latino men, especially those between ages 16 and 24, remained in crisis by nearly every measure, including rates of arrest, school suspension and poverty.

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