San Diego mayor reactivates youth commission

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Mayor Todd Gloria recently announced the reactivation of the San Diego Youth Commission.

The Youth Commission will be made up of 20 San Diego residents between the ages of 14 and 22. Members will meet at least four times a year and will be responsible for identifying issues affecting the city’s youth and advising Gloria, the city council and city staff.

“Our young people are not only our future, they are also our present,” Gloria said. “They deserve to have a voice at City Hall and that’s why we’re bringing back the Youth Commission.”

Gloria, an alumnus of Madison High School, returned there to encourage all young people to apply to serve on the commission to make youth voices heard in local government.

The Youth Commission was established in 2002 but last met in 2015, according to a statement released by the city.

“Young people provide an invaluable perspective on the world that can benefit everyone. Unfortunately, the value of their insight is often overlooked, especially when it comes to municipal decisions,” said councilman Sean Elo-Rivera.

He says the commission will help prioritize youth issues in city government.

The city plans to hold its first commission meeting this fall, after the commissioners are appointed by Gloria and the city council.

Council member Raul Campillo says including young people in local government makes it stronger as a whole.

“I look forward to seeing and implementing the ideas and recommendations that the Youth Commission will bring to our City in the years to come,” he said.

Shane Harris, president of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, said it was a step forward in increasing the voice of young people as modern leaders of innovative change.

“I hope this commission will be diverse both by race and ethnicity, but also by lived experience,” he said.

Applicants to the Youth Commission must be San Diego City residents between the ages of 14 and 22. Interested persons can apply for https://onboard.sandiego.gov/.

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