Calling young people: Brooklyn Park expands commissions to include young voices


In an effort to involve young residents in city government, Brooklyn Park is adding seats to some of its boards and commissions with the new positions reserved exclusively for 18–24 year olds.

In addition, city council on Monday approved language allowing the mayor to appoint up to two youth liaisons between the ages of 14 and 18 to serve in a non-voting advisory capacity on the recreation and recreation committee. city ​​parks.

“I’m very happy to finally see it happen that we’re going to have young people on our advisory board, commissions and councils,” council member Susan Pha said at a city council meeting last month. “It will be valuable for us and for the young people.”

The city’s human rights, planning, recreation and parks commissions and the budget advisory committee will grow from nine to 11 members when appointments are made, which will likely be in the spring, the official said. City Manager Jay Stroebel.

Brooklyn Park partners with the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth and its Youth on Board program to recruit and train youth and young adults to fill positions. Those appointed will serve a one-year term and could serve up to three one-year terms.

The mission of the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth is to represent the youth of Brooklyn Park and the nearby Brooklyn Center by providing a forum to “raise positive awareness of the issues facing youth”.

Its mission is to engage young people in the community and ensure their voices are heard, said Julie Richards, coordinator of the alliance’s youth and community engagement initiative.

“Tables make stronger decisions when they’re more diverse,” she said, defining diversity as everything from age and gender to ethnicity and economic status to immigrants. , tenants and those who do not consider themselves leaders.

Getting youth and young adults connected could allow them to build a network of peers and a strong social network that could keep them in the community for years to come.

“There’s a lot of talent here and so many opportunities, and we want to keep them here,” Richards said. “Involving them in the community is a great way to do that.”

The alliance is currently identifying emerging leaders to fill openings in Brooklyn Park. He held a training session on November 13. Future sessions will include lessons to help prospective members understand how government works and how it affects their lives. Candidates will receive training in Robert’s rules of procedure, how to establish a levy, plan a budget and build consensus – skills they will need on the job.

Youth and young adults will also receive coaching on how to build a resume and social media.

Brooklyn Park will begin advertising new positions after the first of the year.

“It is extremely important that the voices of young people are heard,” said Mayor Lisa Jacobson. “It’s important that our young people have opportunities to learn and be with other positive adults in the community.”


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