<title>10-25-96: Peacemakers and Problem Solvers
for the 21st Century - First Youth Conference; Anaheim,
3 PEACEMAKERS AND PROBLEM SOLVERS
4 FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
6 MEETING WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO
19 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1996, 11:30 A.M.
22 SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONALS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION
23 FIRST YOUTH CONFERENCE
24 ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
3 MS. AMSLER: On behalf of SPIDR and most
4 especially as Co-Chair of the Youth Conference, I
5 would like to welcome the Honorable Janet Reno,
6 Attorney General of the United States.
7 I think that it's most appropriate that
8 we be true to our word and give the voice to the
9 youth. So I would like to first of all ask
10 Miranda to say a few words about why the youth are
11 here. And then we will move on to Daniel who will
12 share with the Attorney General a little bit about
13 what we have been doing. And then Keena will
14 actually formally introduce Janet.
15 MIRANDA: Thank you. Good morning.
16 The reason that this conference is being
17 held this year for the youth is because we would
18 like to get the youth to come here and procure
19 ideas for an agenda or youth declaration to
20 presented in the year 2000. This agenda would
21 detail ideas of how we think conflicts should be
22 resolved at the end of the 21st Century. And it's
23 just to have the youth of today help the youth of
24 tomorrow so that we will have a much better world.
25 Thank you.
2 DANIEL: Hello, I'm Daniel.
3 Again, we have come together as a
4 community to find out what is happening within the
5 bounds of our world. We have discovered what
6 conflict resolution is doing across the globe and
7 what needs to be done in the future to expand that
8 involvement, that change that needs to take place
9 is very important in all of our hearts. We define
10 today what is going to happen tomorrow. We can
11 look above and see what is going on in the world
12 and really find in your involvement what we can
13 see with our hearts.
15 KEENA: Good evening, ladies and
17 It's a great honor for me today to
18 introduce to you all the first woman Attorney
19 General of the United States, who directs also the
20 U.S. Department of Justice and has been a strong
21 supporter of conflict resolution. To me she is a
22 role model because in our society today not many
23 women are given the high support that they really
24 deserve to be given.
1 It's a great pleasure to introduce to
2 you all the Attorney General for the United
3 States, Ms. Janet Reno.
5 MS. RENO: Thank you very much.
6 I was particularly excited when I
7 learned that I would have the opportunity to talk
8 with you today because I find that young people
9 have better ideas than anybody else I know about
10 how to address the problems that we face in this
11 century and the next in a common sense way that
12 can make life more peaceful for everyone.
13 For 15 years I served as the Chief
14 Prosecutor in Miami, Florida. I went to a
15 different public school on the average of once a
16 week trying to hear from young people about what
17 we could do better. So I want you to be thinking
18 of questions for me or suggestions. And I have
19 got a pen and a piece of paper here because I want
20 to take back to Washington your ideas.
22 I am also going to look forward to
23 receiving a report on all the talks that have been
24 developed in this conference. So just remember
25 one question I'm going to ask at the end: If you
1 were the Attorney General of the United States,
2 what would you do to improve conflict resolution
3 to make this world more peaceful and to reduce
4 violence. Be thinking of the answer to that
5 question, and questions you have for me.
6 As Attorney General I am responsible for
7 the FBI, the DEA, the Immigration and
8 Naturalization Service and the Bureau of Prisons,
9 agencies are facing much of the conflict in the
10 nation today. I have tried to use the tools, the
11 skills, the art of conflict resolution in the
12 Department of Justice.
13 I bring people together around my
14 conference table in the big conference room where
15 Bobby Kennedy served as Attorney General. And
16 there will be three people on this side having one
17 view and three people on the other. I am learning
18 from my friends who are experts in conflict
19 resolution how to mediate, how to get them to
20 negotiate, and sometimes how to be the arbitrator.
21 It is a wonderful experience. It is
22 wonderful to see what happens as we apply conflict
23 resolution techniques so that we avoid trials and
24 expensive litigation and get problems solved for
25 the American people up front.
1 In our Community Policing Program,
2 President Clinton has promised to put 100,000
3 community police officers on the streets of
4 America, police officers who want to listen to the
5 people in their neighborhoods and work with them,
6 not against them, in developing priorities and
7 identifying problems and resolving disputes. And
8 we're trying to teach them what the professionals
9 have taught us about conflict resolution.
10 We have a marvelous tool that gives to
11 people with disabilities access to so much that
12 they never had before. It's the Americans With
13 Disabilities Act. And some businesses say it's
14 too difficult to comply with the act and we're not
15 going to do it. So a person with a disability
16 comes to us and asks us to file a lawsuit.
17 We're finding that we can mediate that
18 problem to the satisfaction of all concerned in a
19 much more effective, long-lasting way. We are
20 making a difference because of what you and others
21 are doing in forging the way in conflict
23 But the issue that I think is one of the
24 greatest problems that we face in this country
25 today, an issue that has been close to my heart
1 for a long time, is the problem of increasing
2 youth violence. That will become a greater
3 problem in this nation as the number of young
4 people increases significantly in the next ten
5 years. I have fought as hard as I could as
6 Attorney General to work with local law
7 enforcement to reduce that violence.
8 When a child or young person commits a
9 serious crime there should been a punishment that
10 is fair, that is firm, that fits the crime. But
11 we should also focus on what caused the crime in
12 the first place, what was the problem, and work
13 together to resolve that problem.
14 We have much to learn from our native
15 American friends in terms of sentencing circles
16 and community and restoring the justice that goes
17 with healing and to peace and not to advocacy and
18 not to adversarial solutions. We have much to
19 learn in terms of what we can do to improve
20 mediation skills among teachers and police
21 officers. And I need your thoughts as to what I
22 can better do in Washington to address these
24 We can do so much if we teach our young
25 people how to resolve disputes without knifes and
1 guns and fists. And you, you are the leaders in
2 this effort. What you are doing here is truly
3 making a difference around the world.
5 One of the most important things we must
6 do is never give up on our young people. There
7 are going to be young people that get in trouble.
8 But we shouldn't write them off. We should sit
9 down with them in probation programs and juvenile
10 justice institutions and teach them how to come
11 back to the community with a chance of living
12 strong, positive, constructive lives. And
13 conflict resolution and the tools that you are
14 helping to disseminate across this nation are so
15 important in that regard.
16 But violence is a learned behavior. And
17 one of the best places to learn violence is in
18 your very younger years. It's the most formative
19 time in a person's life. And this is how I
20 learned about that. In 1985 the crack epidemic
21 hit Miami and the doctors asked me to come over to
22 our public hospital to try to figure out what to
23 do about crack involved infants and their mothers.
24 We could not send the babies home with
25 their mothers. They were totally incapable of
1 taking care of them. So they stayed in the
2 nursery. They were not held or talked to except
3 when changed or fed. And they weren't beginning
4 to react with human emotions, whereas a child
5 across the room who was born with terrible birth
6 defects was beginning to respond to both her
7 parents who were with her almost around the clock.
8 And the experts taught me that the first
9 formative time in a person's life is the first
10 three years when the child learns the concept of
11 reward and punishment and develops a conscience.
12 Fifty percent of all learned human response is
13 learned in those first years. And if that is the
14 case, we must focus all, much of our effort on how
15 we teach the very young to grow up, not to fight
16 over a block, not to fight over a book, not to
17 push one another off the toy, but to resolve their
18 disputes early on.
19 If we can teach these young children to
20 read, to write, to do basic arithmetic as they
21 grow up, surely we can teach them how to resolve
22 disputes in a peaceful way, how to problem solve
23 rather than to confuse the issue, how to listen
24 and to talk to people so that you can develop
25 understanding, how to respect each other rather
1 than to put down each other, how to appreciate the
2 great and marvelous and magnificent diversity of
3 this nation and this world, and to realize how
4 much every person, regardless of where they come
5 from, how much they have to contribute.
6 We can do so much if we make a
7 commitment. And I want to make a commitment to
8 you, if I live that long. This is the 24th Annual
9 Conference of the Society of Professionals In
10 Dispute Resolution. Twenty-four years from now
11 will be their 48th conference. And let's just say
12 that in Miami, Florida, where I expect to be
13 living, and I'm an 82-year-old little, old lady
14 who comes tripping into the meeting, I hope you
15 all as the leaders that will take us into that
16 time, who will help us forge a new century, who
17 will set the directions of the new century, will
18 be able to show that little, old lady sitting in
19 the back of the room that you have developed a
20 nation and nations that focus on conflict
21 resolution so that every child will have learned
22 the skills, every teacher, every community police
23 officer, every parks and recreation specialist
24 will have the skills to mediate and to help people
25 resolve conflict.
1 Businessmen won't have to go to court
2 because they will be taught conflict resolution.
3 Lawyers may have to occasionally try a case, but
4 lawyers will be taught in every law school in this
5 country how to resolve disputes without
6 complicated process, and more than process, how to
7 resolve disputes and solve the problem on a
8 permanent basis.
10 The 19th Century in this nation is
11 remembered as the century of cowboys and Indians
12 and shootouts at the Okay Corral. This century
13 has been a century of great wars and now youth
14 violence and conflict in different parts of the
15 world. I hope that working together, drawing
16 ideas from you for the future of tomorrow, drawing
17 ideas from people who care so much about this
18 country and this world, that we can make the 21st
19 Century the century of peace.
21 And now with that, I'm anxious to hear
22 your ideas, questions or the answer to that
23 question, if you were Attorney General what would
24 you do to make this world more peaceful.
25 QUESTION: My name is Melissa.
1 MS. RENO: Why don't you come up here to
2 the microphone. And here is another one.
3 QUESTION: My name is Melissa from New
4 Jersey, Wilson Park High School. I have a
5 question for you.
6 What are you doing presently in trying
7 to implement new initiatives in conflict
8 resolution? Can you update us on any new
9 developments at the government level?
10 MS. RENO: What we have tried to do is
11 we have developed an Alternative Dispute
12 Resolution Program for our litigators. I have
13 appointed a senior lawyer as head of our conflict
14 or our Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.
15 And he has developed regional programs across the
16 country for all of our lawyers. We have not
17 gotten them all trained but we are training them
18 in how to resolve conflicts without going to
20 We are also working through our Office
21 of Juvenile Justice programs in terms of trying to
22 pull together what is working and not working in
23 youth conflict resolution programs. And we are
24 working with the Department of Education.
25 We had a conference this last
1 October 17th in St. Louis and we will have
2 regional conferences around the country. And one
3 of the things that we are doing which is so
4 important, when we invite schools or social
5 service agencies or community-based organizations,
6 we are saying bring a team, bring a young person
7 with you on that team.
8 I mentioned earlier what we are doing
9 with the Americans With Disabilities Act in terms
10 of providing a grant to an institution skilled in
11 this area so that they can develop mediation
12 programs. And we're resolving a large number of
13 complaints with mediation and without further
14 litigation. Those are some of the initiatives
15 that were undertaken.
16 One area that I am focused on a great
17 deal is how we resolve conflicts in law
18 enforcement settings. You probably followed the
19 situation with the Montana Freemen. Director Freeh
20 and the FBI working with the Department of Justice
21 have tried to do everything we could to develop
22 better litigation skills to understand how best to
23 use mediators in standoff situations.
24 Our Community Relations Service has been
25 in operation now for over 30 years. And they have
1 done some wonderful work in conflict resolution in
2 communities that are in disturbance.
3 So those are some of the initiatives
4 we're undertaking. We've got a lot more to do,
7 QUESTION: Good afternoon, Attorney
8 General. My name is Teresa Gay and I go to
9 Westminster High School in Westminster.
10 I believe that the society we live in
11 today has continued to challenge us with conflicts
12 that we have never encountered before due to the
13 advancement in technology and the changes in the
14 traditional family unit. What do you suggest and
15 how will you continue to help us in our quest for
16 peace and how should we combat or adjust to these
18 MS. RENO: First of all, with respect to
19 the change in the family unit, I think that
20 raising children is the single most difficult
21 thing I know to do. I have never been married and
22 I don't have children of my own. But in 1984 a
23 friend died leaving me as the legal guardian of
24 her 15-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. And the
25 girl was in love and I learned an awful lot about
1 raising children since that time. I have learned
2 that it takes hard work, intelligence, and an
3 awful lot of love and an awful lot of luck, that
4 it is one of most rewarding experiences that
5 anybody can have.
6 With single parents trying to raise
7 children, with more and more instances where both
8 parents are working to make ends meet to give
9 their children a future, we have children more
10 alone and at loose ends except for their peers or
11 television than probably at any time in history.
12 One of the things that I am doing in the
13 Department of Justice is trying to make sure that
14 we orient our work around family as much as
15 possible through telecommuting, through flexible
16 work hours, through shifts, through shared jobs
17 not just for the mother but for both parents
18 because I think it's important that both parents
19 be involved in raising their children.
20 And so those are some of the initiatives
21 that I am undertaking. And when I go to a law
22 school for a graduation, I say -- now a lot of you
23 when I graduated, your fathers when I graduated
24 from law school wanted to know how much money they
25 were going to make. That's an important question.
1 But not only ask the law firm with whom you are
2 interviewing or the companies with whom you are
3 interviewing or the school system with whom you
4 are interviewing what are you going to pay me, but
5 ask them what are you going to do in terms of
6 family leave programs and programs that put family
7 first in the work place, too. And I urge you all
8 to do that, too, as you start looking for jobs as
9 you grow older.
11 I'll be right there. Don't give up on
12 me yet.
13 Technology was the first part. I think
14 technology gives us wonderful hopes for the future
15 and it creates extraordinary risks for the future.
16 In both instances I think the aspects of
17 technology that we face stagger the imagination
18 and convert vanity to prayer.
19 One of your great challenges will be to
20 use the Internet and Cyberspace to bring us
21 together, not to split us apart. And we should
22 understand that we have got to rebuild communities
23 around so many children and families at risk. But
24 the community of tomorrow is going to be the world
25 which will be able to communicate as never and
1 ever before. Those are extraordinary challenges.
2 It's the small and the close-in terms of
3 the family and the community. But we are all as
4 one with what Cyberspace has done, with what
5 technology has done in bringing us together and
6 giving us the opportunity to communicate.
7 Now, it won't be communication in many
8 instances face-to-face, it will be how we
9 communicate in a civil way and a gracious way and
10 a respectful way in chat rooms and things like
11 that. So it's a wonderful new world.
12 QUESTION: First of all, I would like to
13 thank you for being such a supporter of conflict
14 resolution. And I was also going to ask you --
15 and this is from the whole group, too -- to go to
16 some of the big politicians like Mr. Clinton and
17 Mr. Dole, Mr. Gingrich and some of the senators
18 and try and convince them that mediation is a good
19 alternative to suing and litigation.
20 MS. RENO: Bravo.
22 What President Clinton did within this
23 past year was to direct all the government
24 agencies in the executive branch to develop -- and
25 he issued an executive order -- to develop an
1 alternative dispute resolution program. He asked
2 the Department of Justice to forge the lead in
3 this effort. I have indicated some of the things
4 that we have done, but we have asked other
5 agencies to meet with us, the Department of
6 Treasury, the Department of Health and Human
7 Services. And we are working with their general
8 counsel to try to do everything we can do to
9 spread the message of ADR and dispute resolution
10 throughout the entire government. And we are
11 going to continue that effort.
12 I think it's not only a matter of
13 mediation, though. I think it's important for us
14 all, Republicans and Democrats, to stop using the
15 invective that hurts and tears and confuses and
16 use respectful, thoughtful language that can help
17 us reach agreement rather than to split us apart.
18 And that's what I have tried to do as the Attorney
19 General. And President Clinton has been
20 marvelously supportive of me in that effort.
22 QUESTION: Hello. My name is Tajai and
23 I am from Bronx, New York. I had a question sort
24 of like a statement. What I seem to find out is
25 that in like places where there's a lot of
1 minorities and the wave of crime within teenagers
2 is growing. And instead of having like mediation
3 centers they have a lot more police. And it's not
4 fair because the police like can harass the
5 teenagers, you know. And it's not helping us out.
6 It's not helping none of the teenagers.
7 I think in every projects, you know,
8 across the nation there should be a mediation
9 center where teenagers can turn to and have people
10 to talk to.
12 MS. RENO: That's a wonderful suggestion
13 and I am going to follow up. And one of the
14 things that I would like to do is my address is
15 Tenth Avenue and Constitution in Washington, D.C.,
16 the Department of Justice. Don't just wait until
17 I come back when I am a little, old lady. Keep
18 the ideas coming.
19 Youth violence is increasing not only in
20 minority communities but across the nation. It
21 began in about 1985, I think, with the
22 proliferation of guns as part of the crack
23 epidemic. I have some good news but I don't want
24 to get self-satisfied about it. Two years ago the
25 murder rate amongst young people started to go
1 down. It's now down a second rear in a row. For
2 the first time since 1985 the youth violence rate
3 is down. I don't want it to be a blip on the
4 screen, particularly when we recognize that more
5 young people -- there are going to be more young
6 people in the age category of 7 and 10, 12 to 17.
7 What we have tried to do through
8 President Clinton's community policing initiative
9 is to put a new face on policing, a face that
10 says -- that can be a firm, fair person respected
11 in the community who can reach out and help people
12 solve problems, who can mediate. And it is
13 wonderful to see a community police officer
14 serving as a mediator working to solve problems.
15 I am going to go back to Washington and
16 look at the idea of how we can develop mediation
17 centers that will help address this area.
18 There are other instances. We have got
19 to find good, constructive programs for people
20 after school and in the evening. And we are
21 focusing on that. I think that is vitally
22 important. We have got to do everything we can to
23 keep our young people in school and to make school
24 challenging to enable young people to graduate
25 from high school with a skill that can enable them
1 to earn a living wage.
2 These are ideas that young people are
3 giving me. I will never forget sitting in a
4 juvenile detention facility in Kansas City, in
5 Omaha, and a young man said -- I said what could
6 have been done to prevent this problem in the
7 first place.
8 And he said something to do in the
9 afternoon and evening, something that was
10 constructive that could challenge me. And
11 somebody to talk to, some adult who understood how
12 hard it is to grow up, and knew when to give me a
13 pat on the back and when to give me a figurative
14 kick in the backside. And he said, I just needed
16 So there is so much that we can do. So
17 keep your ideas coming. And I will go back to
19 Now, one of the things, somebody wrote
20 me and said -- he had an idea. He said, I haven't
21 seen anything yet. Sometimes progress is slow.
22 But I keep trying and I do see change. And your
23 ideas are so important.
25 QUESTION: My name is Chris. I agree
1 with what Tajai just said. And as Attorney
2 General I am sure you know that youth crimes are
3 going up. But presently, what are you doing to
4 solve this problem?
5 MS. RENO: What we have done is I have
6 designated one of my top people as the person in
7 charge of a youth violence initiative trying to
8 focus on how the U.S. attorneys and the Department
9 of Justice can work together with state and local
10 officials to reweave the fabric of community
11 around our young people.
12 I want to make sure that punishment for
13 young people is fair and firm and fits the crime,
14 that it is not excessive, that it is not a slap on
15 the wrist but that it's fair and it's perceived to
16 be fair. I want to make sure, however -- and I
17 can try to push this, and in trying to get people
18 to understand how important it is -- if you send a
19 young person who has committed a serious crime to
20 a youthful offender facility and then send them
21 out back to the "Department Of The Open Air Drug
22 Market," where they got into trouble in the first
23 place with no supervision and no support, that
24 doesn't make any sense.
25 So I have been pushing to try to develop
1 aftercare programs for those who have been in the
2 juvenile justice system to give them a chance to
3 come back with a fresh start.
4 The President has focused on guns. And
5 we have a youth handgun initiative that focuses on
6 initiatives that will keep guns out of the hands
7 of the young people.
8 And there are some innovative and
9 creative things being done across the country,
10 tracing these guns back as well to the people who
11 got them into the hands of young people, and are
12 taking effective action again them.
13 As I indicated earlier, I think in many
14 instances violence is a learned behavior. And one
15 of the most important places it can be learned is
16 in the home. So we're focusing on domestic
17 violence, for the child that sees his father beat
18 his mother comes to accept violence as a way of
20 And Congress has passed a significant
21 sum of money providing for shelters and innovative
22 programs to reduce domestic violence.
23 But most of all, I think it's important
24 to keep our young people out of trouble in the
25 first place. Almost all the young people in this
1 country and in this world want to be somebody,
2 they want to contribute, they want to make a
3 difference, they want to be involved. And they
4 only need in many instances just a helping hand or
5 a shove or a push.
6 I want to make sure that from the time a
7 child is born that we give them the medical care,
8 the education, the support, the structure, the
9 afternoon and evening programs, the conflict
10 resolution and community programs that will give
11 them the skills to grow as strong, constructive
12 human beings.
13 When I first came to Washington and
14 started talking like that some people said she
15 didn't sound like an Attorney General, she sounds
16 more like a social worker.
18 I explained to them that it was neither
19 one nor the other, that when you raise children --
20 I remember my mother who was a wonderful lady.
21 She worked in the home, she taught us to play
22 baseball and to appreciate symphonies; she thought
23 us to play fair; she punished us, sometimes I
24 thought too hard. And she loved us with all her
25 heart. And there is no child care in the world
1 that will ever be a substitute for what that lady
2 was in our lives.
3 But as you grow up you need the
4 boundaries set. You need to know if you cross the
5 boundaries there will be a fair punishment. But
6 most of all you need the love and the support and
7 the instruction that will keep you from crossing
8 those boundaries.
9 And so I think it's a combination of
10 everything, most of all common sense and love and
11 hard work. And we have all got to go about it.
12 One of the great things that I see
13 happening now is that nobody, almost nobody,
14 criticizes me about talking like this anymore, and
15 most of all, the police chiefs and mayors and
16 people who in are in the communities who are
17 forging appliances with young people, with social
18 workers, with police officers, with parks and
19 recreation people and businesses to provide
20 positive, strong programs for our children.
21 We are making a difference and it's one
22 of the reasons is because we're involved with
23 children and young people.
25 QUESTION: My name is Talia and I am
1 from Westminster, California. And I wanted to
2 ask, one of the major issues that we have brought
3 up in the youth conference is exposure to
4 mediation. For people to be in mediation or to
5 have a better understanding of how mediation works
6 or how you can use it they have to know what
7 mediation is. And I just wanted to know, because
8 exposure is not really made with mediation, I was
9 wondering if there were any plans exposing
10 mediation to the public, or if there were plans or
11 implementation of new mediation centers or
12 anything, when is it, what is the time range, what
14 MS. RENO: Our Office of Justice
15 programs working with juvenile justice programs
16 working with the Department of Educations is about
17 to release a guide on how schools can go about
18 developing conflict resolution programs including
19 mediation programs and how they can be developed
20 in juvenile justice institutions.
21 We are trying to reach out to all
22 concerned to do everything we can to participate
23 and to be an appropriate player in this whole
24 educational process. One of the things that I
25 have learned is that sometimes mediation takes
1 different forms. I volunteer in the Washington,
2 D.C. school system. I have adopted a school and I
3 also try to volunteer in terms of developing,
4 supporting conflict resolution mediation and
5 community mediation programs. And we're trying to
6 do everything we can to support that effort.
7 It is fascinating to see teachers
8 learning about mediation and to see different
9 roles that people are undertaking. So we're in
10 the process and we would welcome any suggestions
11 you have as to what more we can do.
12 With respect to community mediation, the
13 National Institute of Justice, which is one of the
14 Department of Justice's agencies, is involved in
15 and is sponsoring an assessment of what is working
16 and what has been developed in the community
17 mediation. And I think that we need to do
18 everything we can to spread the word.
19 But most of all, it is important to
20 spread the word about what is working. And thus
21 essential to all of our efforts is evaluating and
22 understanding what works and what doesn't work, so
23 that we get sound, solid information out to
24 schools, to social service agencies, to police and
25 to other institutions.
2 QUESTION: My name is Sara from Toronto,
3 Ontario. As a Canadian citizen and one of the 50
4 community delegates that are here, I wanted to
5 know what you are doing, how you are working with
6 the Canadian government in conflict resolution.
7 MS. RENO: Well, one of the reasons --
8 the first time I heard about that meeting, now
9 almost a year ago, was from your Minister of
10 Justice, Alan Roth. And I have been to Ottawa and
11 met with Mr. Gray, the Solicitor General, and
12 Mr. Roth, the Minister of Justice. And it was
13 Mr. Roth who told me what native Americans in
14 Canada were doing, First Nations in Canada in
15 terms of sentencing circles and dispute resolution
16 and conflict resolution.
17 I then had the opportunity to learn what
18 Barry Stuart was doing in the Yukon. And he told
19 me about this meeting.
21 And so, in fact, Canada has had a great
22 influence on my being here and has given me a lot
23 of new and wonderful thoughts. And I have been
24 very appreciative of it.
1 QUESTION: Good afternoon. My name is
2 Meryl and I am from Seattle.
3 And earlier on in your speech you asked
4 us if we had any suggestions to help you with what
5 are you doing here and what you are doing in local
6 government and also in Washington, D.C., and
7 what's going on with the FBI and the police and
9 And for me as a youth I feel that we
10 should bring in conflict resolution inside of our
11 police force because a lot of times youth aren't
12 and cops aren't understanding each other. And
13 also, that a lot of times rookie cops -- I see
14 this in my city -- rookie cops have that power
15 trip and they want to feel over the youth. And
16 they harass us and they don't talk to us as
18 And I feel that youth and also cops
19 should come together and talk and have a forum.
20 We have tried this in Seattle and it's worked
21 somewhat but it's not as good. And I wish that we
22 would initiate conflict resolution as a curriculum
23 for the students who are going into the police
24 force, and that they should learn how to
25 communicate better with the youth and also with
1 other people of minorities because I see that a
2 lot, especially where I live.
4 MS. RENO: That is an excellent idea.
5 And let me tell you, I have seen the other side of
6 the coin because this is one of the areas that
7 we're trying to address in everything that we do
8 in terms of community policing and police
10 But to show you what can be done, I was
11 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. They had a
12 significant crime problem, a significant problem
13 with youth violence. And it's now over two years
14 ago. There was a community session ongoing.
15 Community police officers were there. They were
16 working with churches, with community activists,
17 trying to really come together to address the
18 problem of youth violence.
19 And there were two young men there. And
20 they stood and up they said, well, we have got a
21 good story to tell you. We were on our way to
22 getting into real trouble. We started getting
23 into some minor trouble and we were well on our
24 way. But these two guys -- and they pointed to
25 two uniformed policeman standing behind them --
1 took us down, sat us down, talked to us, talked to
2 us real -- treated us with respect, became our
3 friends. They are our mentors and we are well on
4 our way to helping other young people to stay out
5 of trouble because of what they have been able to
7 One of most moving moments that I have
8 seen was when those two young men came with those
9 two police officers to the Department of Justice
10 where President Clinton was visiting and were able
11 to stand there and tell the President of the
12 United States what two police officers who
13 understood how important it was to talk to young
14 people with respect and with regard, what those
15 two police officers had been able to do.
16 Now, I don't know whether those two
17 police officers had had training in conflict
18 resolution. But I think they and your comments
19 reflect a desperate need, whether it be teachers,
20 police officers or other people in authority, we
21 have got to learn to talk with respect, with
22 regard. And we have got to listen and we have got
23 to understand the other person's point of view.
24 I am going to go back following up on
25 the mediation center to make sure that we're doing
1 everything we can in terms of spreading the word
2 about conflict resolution amongst the police.
4 QUESTION: I would just like to say that
5 how is the government giving funding or anything
6 for programs like these in order to like expand
7 them to the society? Because most of the people
8 don't know about it, like about mediation and
9 everything. We need more money. Come on. Money
10 is like we need to extend it in like newspapers,
11 commercials, anything, you know, because it's like
12 the power of advertising.
13 MS. RENO: We are looking at ways that
14 we can use moneys to prompt and to educate people
15 about conflict resolution. But let me give you a
16 challenge because I am facing that challenge.
17 There is something that is happening
18 that is exciting in the communities. If you look
19 at history, during the 1930s there was a very
20 serious depression in this country. People were
21 very poor. They didn't have very much money and
22 they tended to look to Washington for the first
23 time for money to solve their problems. And
24 Washington responded and we slowly began to come
25 out of the depression.
1 With World War II people looked to
2 Washington more often as a place to get problems
3 solved. With the civil rights efforts of the 50s
4 and 60s people looked to Washington for justice.
5 And in the 70s people looked to Washington for an
6 awful lot of money.
7 And then in 1980 Washington started
8 shifting the programs to the states. But it
9 didn't give them any money. And the states
10 started shifting the programs to communities and
11 it didn't give them any money. And then
12 communities in this country, with their back up
13 against the wall, started coming together. And
14 instead of everybody competing for the money they
15 started saying, look, we have got three different
16 programs. If we bring them together we can avoid
17 duplication and we can make them work.
18 What we're trying to do is go to
19 communities and say you understand your needs and
20 resources better than we do. It may be conflict
21 resolution in one instance; it may be a program to
22 deal with teen pregnancy in another instance. We
23 want to work with you and try to be the best
24 partner we can in getting moneys to you in ways
25 that count.
1 But first of all, you have got to show
2 that you have eliminated the duplication and that
3 you have brought people together and are working
4 together. And so conflict resolution is one of
5 the keys to this effort.
6 There is going to be less and less money
7 as Congress tries to cut back and balance the
8 budget. But we are going to try to make sure that
9 it's invested as wisely as possible in programs
10 that can invest in our future, i.e., programs that
11 help build strong and health youth.
13 QUESTION: My name is Lupe Sanchez and
14 I'm from Massachusetts. Up in Massachusetts we
15 got street mediation. We also got school
16 mediation. I think where we was at, we see the
17 street mediation will reach more people and it
18 would help the communities and all of that.
19 Now, this program was working pretty
20 good but the funding -- I guess every state got a
21 local government or something, and I guess the
22 local government stopped the funding and all that.
23 You know, they want this program to work. They
24 want the mediation to work out and everything.
25 But then again, they say they will support us but
1 they supported like in the moneywise. Maybe the
2 funding is kind of hard to get.
3 But this program, the street mediation
4 was really working. And I mean I remember a
5 couple of cases that I solved in the street there
6 like could have been like 15 people arrested right
7 now. You know what I mean. And other people
8 handled some other mediations, they say.
9 I know some states or other countries
10 they don't have street mediation, only schoolwise.
11 I was wondering if like the street mediation could
12 be more recognized and also the schools.
13 MS. RENO: Where are you from in
15 QUESTION: I am from -- I think everyone
16 knows this -- but Greenfield, around there.
17 MS. RENO: I have a pretty good idea.
18 What I would like you to do is -- where did he go?
19 There he is. That's David Jones over there.
20 Would you give him the details of the program.
21 The young man from Bronx, the comments
22 that have been made, one of the things that is
23 clear to me is that we need to look at what we can
24 do in the street and in community centers and in
25 mediation. And so I need to know what was working
1 in your area and see what we can do. Because I
2 think this is a theme that is clearly coming out
3 of your comments today.
5 VOICE: We would like to thank the
6 Honorable Attorney General Janet Reno for
7 answering all of our questions -- and there were
8 some good questions -- and taking the time out to
9 be here and coming to talk with us. And thank you
10 very much.
12 VOICE: And on behalf of everyone here
13 at the SPIDR Conference we would like to present
14 you with this SPIDR t-shirt.
16 And on behalf the William Jennings
17 Bryant Environments Conflict Resolution Program in
18 Cleveland, Ohio, we would like to present with you
19 this Wave t-shirt.
21 (At 12:05 p.m., the meeting was
2 STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
3 ) ss.
4 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES )
6 I, DARYL BAUCUM, CSR No. 10356, a
7 resident of the County of Los Angeles, State of
8 California, declare:
9 That the foregoing proceedings were
10 taken before me at the time and place herein set
11 forth, at which time the aforesaid proceedings
12 were stenographically recorded by me and
13 thereafter transcribed under my supervision; and
14 That the foregoing transcript, as typed,
15 is a true record of the said proceedings.
16 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have subscribed my
17 name this 18th day of October, 1996.
22 Daryl Baucum, CSR No. 10356