The future is bleak for many urban children unless the next President and Congress make a commitment to solving some of their problems, a Massachusetts mayor said Wednesday.
“Too many children in our cities have no future, no future at all, unless we, as a nation, act on the problems they face today,” said Theodore D. Mann, mayor of Newton, Mass.
Mann is chairman of the human development committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which on Wednesday released “A Status Report on Children in America’s Cities.”
The report “calls attention to our collective failure as a nation to respond to these problems,” Mann said of the 52-city survey of mayors and social services officials.
The report identifies drug abuse, weaknesses in education systems, lack of affordable child care, teen-age pregnancy and dropping out of school as problems that have grown worse in the last five years in 80% of the cities surveyed.
Officials said low-income families are confronted with the additional problems of homelessness and lack of access to medical and mental health care.
Among the cities surveyed, Irvine, Calif., had the lowest overall poverty rate and child poverty rate in 1986, at 4.1% and 3.3%, respectively. Camden, N. J., had the worst overall poverty rate and child poverty rate that year, 42.3% and 61.1%, respectively.