City Issues 2018 – Youth Advisory Council

City Issues 2018 – Youth Advisory Council


Earlier this year the mayor and Board of
Aldermen created a Youth Advisory Council to give the youth of this city a
voice and influence over city government issues that matter to them this council
offers them a real opportunity to get involved in their community in a
substantial way as a force within city government the resolution to form the
council was led by alderman Roger Wilson he and deputy director of Parks and
Recreation Bob Smith are here to discuss the exciting opportunity now open to our
youth welcome alderman wilson welcome Bob
thanks for coming here to give us an update on our new Youth Advisory Council
we’re so excited to have that starting up yeah it’s it’s an exciting time you
know here in the city of Frederick you know one of our first piece of
legislation that we passed into law in the last 8 months was a Youth Advisory
Council and we all campaign on the idea of more civic engagement from our
citizens and we targeted our youth and we’re very excited about the Youth
Advisory Council and what the possibilities are where is the process
at this point at this point we’re still accepting applications that process will
go on through the end of September the committee the council itself will have
13 voting members which will be used aged 14 to 18 and then the five
non-voting members which will be adults that work for or are affiliated with an
organization that serves youth within the city Frederick so we’re moving right
along for our audience clarify specifically who we hope will be
applying oh the ages of the individuals that we’ll be applying for the Youth
Advisory Council will be a 14 to 18 and we’re hoping that that age group there
at this point building leadership skills and there are in high school now so
they’re interacting they’re starting to understand government and what it means
to be a citizen you know it’s not just paying your taxes and you know voting
it’s it’s actually participating in your community so we’re excited about the
opportunity that you know working with Parks and Rec that these young
individuals are going to have I think this is the real opportunity because
these are the the leaders of the future and just over the last couple of months
it’s clear the word is getting out because met a lot of young people who’ve
approached me about the whole process and about getting involved in not
wanting to be involved so there’s there’s clearly and I think it’s a good
sign young people who are activated and
interested in doing more for their community and finding ways to connect
and I think that’s a really exciting opportunity for us yeah I’ve always
thought that you know it’s our responsibility our generation
responsibility to make sure that the next generation understands their part
and continuing you know our city government our city community and what
it means to be a citizen so I am so excited about the opportunity that’s
upon us there is not necessarily at this point a clear agenda and I think that’s
one of the interesting pieces about this and the exciting pieces is this first
council really is going to get to in some respects set the strategic vision
for how this Youth Advisory Council will function moving into the future so it’s
it’s going to be interesting to see what they want to embrace and and be a part
of yeah the reason why this got started was I was hearing a lot of interactions
with mothers and fathers about the lack of things to do in a city and with you
know summer internship programs their involvement and right now I think in the
schools they don’t learn how to get an opportunity to learn a lot about
government and the role of government plays in their lives and so this will
give them that opportunity to interact with government on a real positive you
know approach okay to understanding they’ll they’ll get education but also
they’ll be providing value to the mayor and Board of Aldermen on policy issues
that matter to them then we’re looking for a place for this to live within city
government Parks and Rec seem like a natural fit because if there’s one
department of the city that the young people are already connected with in a
way they’re probably not connected with any other department it would be parks
and recreation absolutely and you know Roger has alluded already to the
interaction with the actual city government a piece that I’m a little
excited for is Parks and Recreation as an industry has long struggled for what
do we do with the teen program we have program
for the toddlers we have programming for youth all the way up through and they
get to 1415 and the industry and struggle the industry is continuously
come up blank with what to do so who better to have in front of us to ask hey
what kind of programming would you like to see what kind of program would you
want to engage in so I’m anxious to have that opportunity and am I wrong in and
it’s okay for you to say if I am a did I mean I think one of the challenges is
that that every generation of young people really forges its own identity so
where some kinds of ideas and traditions and activities really span generations
and generations generation young people are always looking for a new path to
carve when you get into this age range is that something that you find in
trying to put together a Parks and Rec program for this age range we’re talking
about absolutely I would think that that that is spot-on the trends change the
activities change the interests of our youth change you know I think if we’ve
seen one thing in the past six to nine months at the national level it’s that
youth today want to have a voice Youth today want to have a say they truly care
not just about what they’re doing in programming but what we’re doing as a
whole in the government and policies you know I know just thinking about it you
know I would love for my girls my girls are 14 to 18 and I would just like for
them to get off the phones a little more and actually interact go outside I know
growing up I I didn’t come in until the lights came on on the light pole play
basketball all day you know with my friends in the community and that’s how
I learned about socialization you know being on the playground and interacting
and solving problems that way you know being on your phone it’s it’s a great
tool but you missed that opportunity to interact with human beings and I think
this this Youth Advisory Council is going to really bring that out the value
I think for the young people who are involved is
for them to ultimately see the work that they do transfer into how government
functions have you given thought at this point about what you think success is
going to look like how are we gonna know because I think we’re gonna be
successful but how will we know that we’re successful I I have given thought
to that and I think I think that question has to go back to the youth
twelve months from now if twelve months from now we’ve we’ve created our council
we have our 13 members we have our five non-voting members and we asked the
youth at that time do you feel like you made a difference do you feel like you
were heard do you feel like your opinions were well received and if the
answer is yes and I think it’s a success what what kind of what kind of young
people are we looking for well I think they can come from many different
backgrounds we want diversity and inclusion on this council but we will
also want individuals that have a desire to learn more about their government in
their community in which they live in and work in and if they have that desire
then this Youth Advisory Council is just going to amplify you know their goals
and objectives I remember during the conversation in the creating of the
resolution that established this that there was there’s a lot of talk amongst
the Board of Aldermen about ensuring that we we get that well-rounded board
very often you know right away when you put a call out in a high school for
example who’s gonna step forward to take those leadership roles and we’re very
much looking for maybe some of the students who would necessarily gravitate
in that direction to find a voice perhaps in a in a different venue and I
think that’s an exciting opportunity as well I get the I get the pleasure of
looking over the applications and resumes and working with with Bob and
others to sort of wit all the the universe of people down to the candidate
so it’s it’s going to be it’s going to be a lot of fun to build
you know this first group of kids young adults into into what we can accomplish
Maori one of the things that I am excited about also is identifying those
future of Mayors and aldermen you know that may come out of our Youth Advisory
Council but also it creates an opportunity to generate a pipeline of
individuals that may want to be a city employee work for local government right
now we have a lot of baby boomers that are eligible for retirement and local
government and we’re working very hard trying to compete the private sector
with the private sector on identifying these future workers and I think this
Youth Advisory Council creates that opportunity for individuals that are
interested in in local government well I mean I from my own perspective I have
through my own work life have come to really appreciate what can be
accomplished at the local government level and I think there is a piece of
this that’s about having young people recognize that a career in government or
a leaving at least part of a career in government is really worthwhile and
important work because the work that we do on a city basis every day and sounds
a little bit like we’re patting around back it really does affect people every
day where they where they’re everywhere I went
I’ve had an opportunity to talk to a lot of young people over the last couple of
months and and I remember when I was sitting where many of them are today the
idea of becoming a member of a Board of Aldermen of the mayor was certainly not
part of my career plan when I was in high school and I think that’s the other
piece that is that’s fun to watch to see people think that wow it really is
possible right yeah exposure yeah exposure is extremely important and you
know I’ve gotten calls from the last eight months about other jurisdictions
interested now in establishing a Youth Advisory Council and it feels good
because one of the things I’m thinking about regionally you know how we’re
developing you know that pipeline that student that future taxpayer that
future voter you know helping them to be become more informed you know in their
community and what’s going on in the world I I just get tickle thinking about
what’s what’s plan yeah I’ve had some conversations with some colleagues from
the Maryland Municipal League as well Oh about this and you know there’s some
excitement about what we’re doing here so we can do it right here yeah
absolutely if we can do it the right way here then we can we can share with them
and perhaps take it statewide excellent that’s a great note to end on thank you
thank you and we will look forward to hearing more about this as it progresses
thank you thank you you

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