Laura Bush Tackles Gang Issue
First lady Laura Bush is taking the lead in promoting a three-year, $150-million federal anti-gang project, Reuters reported March 7.
"She and I share a passion," President George Bush said in introducing his wife to a group of Pittsburgh college students. "We're worried. We're worried about gangs. We're worried about drugs. We're worried about bad choices."
The anti-gang program will funnel money to community-based and religious groups to provide mentoring and alternative activities to at-risk youth, as well as helping former prisoners and people in recovery from addiction.
"Boys are having an especially tough time growing up," said Mrs. Bush, who is touring the country to promote the plan. "They are falling behind girls in schools ... and boys on average are more likely to join gangs, commit crimes, and end up in prison."
But some have been dismissive of the idea of putting the first lady in charge of the program. "The prospect of Laura Bush, the soft-spoken librarian from Crawford, Texas, lecturing Crips and Bloods about the evils of gangs is a 'Saturday Night Live' skit waiting to happen," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in a recent editorial.