“Summer Night Lights” Kicks Off 9th Year Of Providing Fun, Safe Spaces For Young People And Families

Published On: July 1, 2016Categories: MFLA News, Program News

LOS ANGELES—Summer Night Lights (SNL), a signature Mayor’s Office initiative that keeps dozens of parks open late with special activities for young people and families, kicked off today.

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti officially launched SNL 2016 with a visit to the Highland Park Recreation Center, where he was joined by special guest U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, as well as LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas, members of the SNL Youth Squad, program donors, and hundreds of residents from the surrounding community.

 

SNL, which is run by the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD), creates safe places for young people and their families to gather in 32 communities impacted by gang-related violence. In 2015, 20 of 32 communities surrounding SNL sites saw a reduction or no change in gang-related crime.

 

“The power of community is at the heart of Summer Night Lights, and it works because it brings people together around values that everyone shares — friendship, safety, and opportunity,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I’m proud that SNL’s growth and success have helped L.A. become a national model for how creative thinking, generosity, and partnerships can make a world of difference in our neighborhoods.”

 

Mayor Garcetti established the program as “At the Park After Dark” as a City Councilmember in 2007. It was relaunched the following year as SNL to keep City parks open late for six weeks during the summer. The program provides activities for at-risk youth and their families, upwardly-mobile job opportunities for local residents, and a safe place to spend summer evenings at 32 sites across L.A.

 

Since the program’s inception, SNL has hosted more than 4.9 million visits from community members — who enjoy activities that range from sports leagues and art workshops, to exercise and healthy cooking classes. In 2015 alone, more than 452,000 meals were served.

 

One of most impactful elements of SNL is its role in providing young people with opportunities for employment and professional development. Youth Squad members receive training prior to the start of Summer Night Lights, and receive a stipend for their work staffing the programs. The 2016 program will create more than 800 jobs, including 352 positions for Youth Squad members ages 17-24.

 

SNL is a highly successful public-private partnership.  Almost half of the program’s cost is paid for by the generous support of foundation and corporate donors. Representatives of several donors to the program attended Wednesday’s launch event, including the Walt Disney Company, Kaiser Permanente, the L.A. Lakers Youth Foundation, and the Dodgers Foundation.

 

Summer Night Lights is also funded in part by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization focused on creating partnerships between the City of Los Angeles and the private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. This support allows the City to offer SNL programming free of charge for all participants and to provide sports, arts, and access to resources to communities most in need.

 

SNL program partners include: the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Departments of Recreation and Parks and Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and the Hungry Hog & Starving Steer.

 

SNL 2016 will run from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. each evening — Wednesday-Saturday, June 29-August 6; and Friday-Saturday, August 12-26. For a full list of locations and other details, visit www.lamayor.org/snl.

 

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