CHICAGO - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is about to roll out an array of programs to "reduce violence and give alternatives to at-risk youth and young adults," he writes in an mass email sent out Tuesday morning.
Emanuel reached out to former Detroit Piston, Chicago-born Isiah Thomas to launch Windy City Hoops, a weekend basketball league for kids in areas hit hardest by violence. The league will provide a safe environment for 12 to 17 year olds to play season-long tournaments against their peers, learn the value of teamwork, and build leadership skills.
But, Emanuel says, he needs financial assistance in the form of donations, despite the program being associated with Chicago's taxpayer-funded Park District program.
"Basketball programming has a proven impact on youth by providing an alternative to drugs, gangs, and violence. Isiah knows that first hand, and we have seen it work throughout Chicago," Emanuel wrote. "If we all come together to support this initiative, we can ensure that thousands of more kids have the opportunity to grow from this experience." Emanuel then encouraged readers to watch and donate: