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Urban families commission chair listens to NLC concerns and ideas.

Missouri Governor John Aschcroft last week said he would seek direction and support from the National League of Cities as he takes on the leadership of the newly-established Commission on America's Urban Families.

Ashcroft, who was selected by President Bush to chair the Commission, made the remarks during a meeting with NLC Executive Director Don Borut to discuss the direction of the Commission's work. "When the President asked me to chair this commission, he made it clear that the leaders of the National League of Cities had recommended its establishment," Ashcroft said. "So I want to say in touch with you as we pursue our mandate."

President Bush announced the establishment of the commission in his State of the Union Address earlier this year, shortly after the met with NLC's leadership. Establishment of a commission to examine economic trends that have contributed to the dissolution of families in the nation's cities and towns was one of several recommendations the officers discussed with the President.

Borut told Ashcroft that the commission could provide a vehicle for examining underlying causes of family breakdowns and the impact on cities.

"The Commission must be viewed as an opportunity for children and families, for the Administration, and for cities," he said. "We need a clarion call for public attention that will lead to significant action."

Ashcroft said he expects to conduct hearings in selected cities to collect information about issues and needs. "We cannot presume that there is as single away. to address the problems," he said. "They're are variety of cultures which respond in a variety of ways. We need to recognize those differences and welcome all kinds of input."

The Commission held an informal meeting last week in Washington to begin to work plan and schedule NLC Board Member Victor Ashe, mayor of Knoxville Tenn., is a member of the Commission.

In a memorandum to Governor Ashcroft, which was discussed during the meeting NLC President Glenda E. Hood described NLC's continuing interest in children, and families, and communities and its high expectation work of the Commission.

"The Commission must show beyond a reasonable doubt that all families are at risk, but some are particularly vulnerable. The issues confronting families in America's cities also confront families in other parts of the country," she said. "The Commission's discussions and its report must encourage, stimulate, and create opportunities for interaction and follow-up among all of those who are concerned about America's families."
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Becker, Christine
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 27, 1992
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