BOSTON – Thursday, November 7, 2019 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday joined the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment for the swearing-in ceremony of the 2019-2020 Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC), a group of 85 high schoolers that work to improve Boston’s communities and empower other young people throughout the City. The Council advises Mayor Walsh and his administration on policy and programming important to youth. Students were selected following an extensive application and interview process.
“I’m pleased to welcome our newest members to the Youth Council,” said Mayor Walsh. “Youth have the potential to be powerful agents of change and confront issues in their neighborhoods, school community, and within city government. When youth are civically engaged and included in dialogue that shapes decision making, they can be empowered to be part of and believe in democracy.”
Members of the Youth Council come from all across Boston and attend a variety of public, parochial, private and alternative schools. The MYC is a year-round commitment, and members devote eight to 13 hours a month to meetings, impact and service projects, and engagement. The number of youth representing each neighborhood is based upon census data that indicates where young people live in Boston.
MYC representatives form issue-based subcommittees designed by input from youth and are reflective of Mayor Walsh’s cabinet structure. The current committees include Arts & Culture, Education & Youth Lead the Change, Civic Engagement, Workforce & Economic Development, Public Health, Public Peace, and Climate Action. Annually, 16 youth directors and deputy directors are elected by their peers to lead the Council’s committees.
“Being on the Mayor’s Youth Council for the past two years has allowed me to develop my leadership skills, as well as provide the opportunity to learn about issues beyond my neighborhood, school and community,” said Laura Goodfield, 18, of the West End. “It has provided me with a platform to speak on issues I’m passionate about and work with other like-minded youth to build solutions.”
“Our commitment to the Mayor’s Youth Council remains an important part of Northeastern’s engagement with the Boston community,” said Joseph E. Aoun, President of Northeastern University, a fiscal sponsor of the Mayor’s Youth Council. “Through the experience of civic action, our students are developing the skills to be the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. We look forward to our continued partnership with Mayor Walsh.”
Over the past year, members of the MYC have worked on a variety of issues related to public safety, participatory budgeting, and the Vote 16 initiative. Recently, youth leaders have provided feedback to the MBTA on their five-year transportation plan and have guided the community input process regarding how the City of Boston spends $1 million of the Capital Budget through “Youth Lead the Change”.
Any youth seeking to serve with the Council should visit youth.boston.gov