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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke names delegation to presidents' summit

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke has selected a delegation of leaders from business, labor, education and other sectors to represent the State of Washington at the Presidents' Summit for America's Future which is intended to mobilize communities. The summit's aim is to build a new level of commitment to volunteer service on behalf of the nation's children and youth.

The summit will be convened on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia by President Clinton and former presidents Bush and Ford. Nancy Reagan will attend for former president Reagan, while Lady Bird Johnson and former president Carter, though unable to attend, are lending their support to the effort.

All 50 states and nearly 100 communities, including Seattle and Spokane, are sending delegations made up of leaders who will be able to return to their respective communities and continue the momentum for volunteerism as a multi-year effort following the summit.

Locke said there will be several keys to the ultimate success of this initiative. "Communities across Washington and the nation will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our young people through new partnerships that emphasize voluntary service," Locke said. "I believe private citizens and non-governmental organizations throughout our state stand ready to make a significant voluntary commitment to our children for the long haul."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson will be Gov. Locke's representative on the delegation. The six-member team assembled by Locke includes Karen Morse, president of Western Washington University; Bob Craves, a business executive from Costco Wholesale; MicroSoft's manager of corporate contribution and community programs, Barbara Dingfield; Taholah High School student body president Robert Bighead and Allan Darr of Everett, who serves as legislative representative for the Operating Engineers union.

Locke said the leaders will help the state ensure that the summit becomes a catalyst for improving the lives of our youth through education, health and service to our neighbors in the community.

"Children are the victims of abuse, poverty, violence, drugs and suicide with a frequency we all should find alarming," Locke emphasized. "This high-level national effort, grounded in volunteerism at the community level, has a chance to achieve better results than any previous public or private effort. Together we can give children and youth optimism and the opportunity to pursue their dreams."

The guiding principle of the overall campaign is the belief that children and youth must have five basic resources in order to lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives. Those five resources are:

-An ongoing relationship with a caring adult;

-Safe places and structured activities outside of school hours;

-A healthy start;

-Effective education that gives young people marketable skills; and

-Opportunities to give back through community service.

In advance of the summit, organizations from all participating sectors have pledged a variety of specific initiatives designed to measurably boost volunteer service and to put in place the programs and mechanisms necessary to achieve results. While many national commitments will be announced at the summit, a number of commitments have already been made, including:

Columbia/HCA Healthcare will immunize 1,000,000 children by 2000;

-AT & T will connect the country's 110,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools to the Information Superhighway by the year 2000;

-Communities in Schools will expand to better enable 750,000 young people to stay in school;

-Big Brothers/Big Sisters will double their number of mentoring relationships;

-An Indianapolis 8th grade class will tutor students at a nearby elementary school twice a month to help prepare them for middle school; and

-The Jewish Social Justice Center will mobilize 100,000 volunteer tutors.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell, will serve as chairman of the summit. Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be the vice chairman.

Locke will not attend the April 27-29 Summit due to the press of legislative business. The 1997 session of the Legislature is scheduled to end April 27.

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