Youth Voice, Youth
Involvement, Youth Engagement, Youth Organizing and Youth
and County Government
Lifelong community membership through active youth
councils. These councils have a variety of
responsibilities, including opportunities to affect
citywide decision-making. There are also an
increasing number of youth positions on regular city
POINT TO PONDER: "If it is clear youth will be
encouraged and listened to, and preparations are well thought out, you
are set up for success... Having youth on boards and commissions has
been a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Youth feel their
voice is valued and that they have an impact on city decisions. Adult
members benefit from the fresh perspective, optimism, and enthusiasm
youth bring to the table."
- Matt McCarter, quoted
RESOURCES: The following are
groups of special groups of youth-only decision-makers in local
National League of Cities Youth Leadership in Municipal
Government - Activities and resources
promoting youth voice.
League of Minnesota Cities Youth Involvement in Governance
Webpage - A good resource including information
on organizing, operating and developing youth councils, conferences, and
other youth involvement ideas. Includes tips for youth and adults
working together and resource information.
Freechild Project Child and Youth Involvement in Community Planning
2005 - Hampton, Virginia may be the foremost community in the
United States when it comes to infusing Youth Voice,
Involvement, and Engagement. Schools, community organizations,
and the local government are heavily interested and invested
in young people.
are links to programs throughout the area, as well as articles
and publications about what is going on in Hampton.
Baltimore Youth Congress
Boise, Idaho Youth on City Boards
San Francisco (CA) Youth Commission
Mayor's Youth Council -
Established in the spring of 1994, the Mayor's Youth Council provides Boston
young people with an active role in addressing youth issues.
Youth on City Committees
Texas Youth Commission -
The mission of the Youth Commission is to serve as a voice for the youth within
Ann Arbor (MI) Youth Senate - Teens meet weekly in
school-based Forums and monthly on a citywide basis. Senate
Officers and Committee leaders from Forums meet weekly to address
issues of common concern to youth in the community.
Wisconsin Youth Commission
A collection of dozens of youth involvement activities in communities across Washington
Global - International
Comhairle na nÓg (Youth Council)- Ireland - Comhairle na
nÓg is an Irish term for Youth Council. Each city or county in
Ireland has created a Comhairle na nÓg to give voice to young
people aged 7-17 living in Ireland. Their objective is to
ensure that the youth voice is heard at local level. Dublin's
Youth Council is the largest in Ireland. The 55 members of the
Dublin Comhairle na nÓg were elected from over 500 children of
ages 7-17 who participated in six prior youth seminars.