City leaders always say that they want to keep Merced safe. Heres a place to start: Invest in youth employment opportunities.
In Merced, about 36 percent of youths live below the poverty line. The county health director recently announced that Merced now has the highest percentage of children in poverty of any county in the state.
As a citizen of Merced, I realize that youth employment is more than creating jobs. Its about creating hope and helping a city thrive. And as a business owner, I am one of the 123 downtown businesses that were surveyed by the Invest In Our Youth Campaign, and I support the creation of a summer youth employment program.
The youths of Merced deserve more opportunities, and the city of Merced should make this investment now.
Oscar Torres, co-owner at J&R Tacos, Merced