April 30 2015

During her swearing-in ceremony as U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch imparted a few words of hope and optimism to those in attendance and to the department she will lead: “I am here to tell you, if a little girl from North Carolina who used to tell her grandfather in the fields to lift her up on the back of his mule, so she could see ‘way up high, Granddaddy,’ can become the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America, then we can do anything.”

Her words couldn’t resonate more during a time when we need bold leadership and optimism from the country’s highest-ranking law enforcement official.

As a health foundation that’s dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of all Californians, we know that safe, well-connected communities foster better health.

Our grantees work tirelessly to find creative solutions that increase public safety and connectedness in some of California’s most vulnerable communities. They work side-by-side with youth to ensure our youth have access to programs and services they need to thrive and stay out of the criminal justice system. They are finding creative approaches for how to build authentic relationships with law enforcement so they can jointly create safe communities. And they are changing policies for how we look at public safety in this state, especially for young boys and men of color.

But there is still a lot of work ahead and real public safety issues that need to be addressed.

We are confident that Attorney General Lynch can help advance the work that so many of our grantees and youth have led here in California.

She comes from a family that fought for the right to vote, she successfully dealt with the issue of police brutality head-on during her career tenure, and she is now the first black woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General.

Her accomplishments and leadership give us hope that she can address some of the biggest public safety issues facing our nation today and that her story can help our youth realize that they too can be agents of change in making our communities safer and healthier for all.

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