Letter: Blacks in Law Enforcement Support Mount Vernon Arts Council

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To the Editor:

In recent weeks, there have been reports of the Mount Vernon city government's refusal of the Mount Vernon Arts Council proposal to buy a foreclosed property for the purpose of the arts and teaching the children of Mount Vernon music. 

As a national organization of Law Enforcement Professionals, we feel this move by the Mount Vernon city government is unacceptable and will be detrimental to many of our youths in Mount Vernon. 

Many studies show that music programs have effects on student motivation — apparently because students tend to enjoy music and feel a sense of accomplishment when they become proficient with a musical instrument and with ensemble performances; and perhaps with gaining the people skills necessary to collaborate in a group performance; and also with cultural pride and identification that can result from increasing awareness of culturally embedded musical traditions. 

Mayor (Richard) Thomas and local pastors have recently held a forum entitled "Restoring Our Future." 

The City Council always asks for solutions, but to deny the Mount Vernon Arts Council its proposal to buy a foreclosed property to continue the good work for our youth is showing the hypocrisy in city government.

The mayor is turning his back on the future because of the positive results the arts can have on our youth in Mount Vernon, the City Council for refusing a proven solution for our youth in Mount Vernon, and our local leadership for their silence on this issue.

Damon K. Jones, New York Representative Blacks In Law Enforcement of America.

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