York leaders organize youth forum to address 'uneasiness' after violence

YORK -- Some York leaders have called a timeout on violence, and they want residents to unite.

So they've organized a youth forum that will kick off at noon Saturday at the York Recreation Center on White Rose Lane near downtown.

The free event will include a hot dog supper as well as recreation. The forum will start at 1 p.m.

"It will be a conversation about keeping our neighborhoods secure and our children safe," Mayor Eddie Lee said. "Right now, some of our citizens are uneasy and city leaders are determined to address that uneasiness."

Organizers want to focus on strengthening the community, said York schools Superintendent Russell Booker.

"It's going to take a concerted effort to prevent events, such as the one we experienced last week, from happening in the future," Booker said about a recent gang-related shooting that left one York man dead and another wounded. "We're talking about moving forward. The overall goal is to continue harvesting peace through building community bridges. One group can't do it. It will take several coming together."

While organizers say it's vital that young people have avenues to voice their opinions, they issue one caution.

"We don't want this to turn into a finger-pointing contest because our community's wellbeing is everybody's responsibility," Booker said. "It begins with the family."

Saturday's event is sponsored in part by the city of York, the York school district, the western York County branch of the NAACP, the Citizens Awareness Group of western York County and the York Area Optimist Club.

For details, call Steve Love at 684-7124 or the city of York at 684-2341.