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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Nickels names director of youth violence prevention effort

4/23/2009  3:00:00 PM

Nickels names director of youth violence prevention effort

SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that Mariko Lockhart will be the inaugural director of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

The effort, launched last year, focuses on about 800 youth most at risk in Central, Southeast and Southwest Seattle. Specifically, the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative provides:

  • a support network for youth coming from state or county detention programs and for youth arrested for crimes but released;
  • extends hours of community centers to provide safe and supportive late night programs;
  • places school emphasis police officers in targeted middle schools to help truants and youth at risk of suspension; and
  • helps prevent victims of violence, and their friends and relatives, from retaliating.

The goal is to reduce youth violence by one-half in a year.

Lockhart was president and state director of Communities In Schools of New Jersey, a partnership between school districts, the business sector, and community stakeholders to reduce dropout rates. Most recently, she served as a consultant on management, race and diversity. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University.

“Mariko comes to us with a stellar resume, and great enthusiasm,” said Nickels. “This initiative depends on community support, and Mariko is just the right person to make sure we reach all our youth.”

“It is a privilege to have been selected to lead this very important initiative. Nothing less than the lives and futures of many of Seattle’s young people are at stake. I will be reaching out to these communities so that we can work collaboratively to achieve these ambitious goals,” said Lockhart.

A City Council committee on Tuesday voted to release $1.3 million for the initiative. The full Council is set to vote on Monday. The Council previously approved $2.7 million for this year. The Council’s adopted budget for 2009-2010 provides $8 million for the initiative. For more information, visit this Web site:

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