By participating in local government, youth gain work experience, acquire new skills, learn responsibility and accountability, develop a greater sense of confidence and empowerment, and forge meaningful connections to other youth and adults. Youth involved in positive activities such as community service are also less likely to pursue risky behaviors. In addition, youth voice in local decision-making can help city officials enact better policies and programs, especially with regard to youth issues.
Cities across the country are empowering youth to be valuable resources for crafting successful solutions to community problems. Come to the Authentic Youth Civic Engagement Session in Seattle to learn tools for engaging your city.
As part of NLC's continuing efforts to promote youth participation in local government, municipal officials are encouraged to bring youth (current high school students) with them to the 2014 Congressional City Conference as youth delegates.
NLC's Center for Research and Innovation has assembled a collection of promising and creative city practices that support civic engagement, including initiatives that encourage young people to be more engaged members of their community.
Published with support from the Surdna Foundation, this guide offers practical tools for promoting meaningful youth participation in local government.
Produced by the Forum for Youth Investment in collaboration with the YEF Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures, this report highlights six key tasks for creating effective youth councils, examples of strong municipal youth councils, and sample city ordinances, applications, bylaws, release forms, research, and other resources.