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City of Seattle

June 17, 10:27 AM click here to comment > 0

Seattle Youth Commission end-of-the-year reports: Education Committee

The Seattle Youth Commission was created by Mayor McGinn and the City Council last year from what used to be the Mayor’s Youth Council, in order to ensure that local elected officials and policymakers beyond just the mayor are able to hear directly from teenagers about issues that are important to them. The 2010-2011 commissioners held a series of community meetings at the beginning of the school year to get input from other youth about issues that they should focus on and then formed four issue committees based on the input they received—Transportation, Education, Youth Violence, and Race and Social Justice. Each committee then spent the remainder of the year working to create meaningful policy changes in their issue area. We’ll be posting summaries of what the four committees were able to accomplish over the course of the year; check out the work of the Education committee below and stay tuned for Youth Violence, Race and Social Justice and Transportation committee reports.


Education was by far the most popular topic at the public meetings that the Commission held at the beginning of the year, as well as the most popular topic among the Commissioners themselves. As the Education Committee put it in their year-end report, “no one is more affected by education than youth, and no one is less represented in policy decision-making,” and their focus for the year was primarily in addressing the issue of representation. In February the committee led a group of Commissioners in testifying to the City Council about the importance of fully funding the 2011 Families & Education Levy, especially the programs that serve high school students, and after the Council voted to submit the full levy for a vote on the November ballot the committee members successfully worked with Councilmember Burgess to secure two ex-officio spots for members of next year’s Commission on the Levy Oversight Committee for the 2011 levy, contingent on the levy’s being approved by voters in November. They also started working on getting youth members appointed to the school board, something that the three returning Education Committee members are very interested in continuing to work on next year as well.

Be sure to check back for Youth Violence, Race and Social Justice and Transportation committee reports.

Posted by: Sol Villarreal