Compiled by Courier Staff
The Milwaukee Youth Council (MYC) hosted a news conference last week in the City Hall Routunda. The group spoke on recent legislative successes, the Council’s current mission and the positive actions of youth in the community.
With all of the recent negative attention that Milwaukee youth have received regarding the Rivewest incident and the State Fair uproar, these young people represent the positive things that more youth are doing in the city. As the saying goes, “a few bad apples ruin the bunch”. The youth involved with MYC are working to show that these young people do not represent the majority of young people in Milwaukee.
The City of Milwaukee Youth Council is a powerful and diverse group of young leaders committed to making a difference in Milwaukee. They work on issues important to youth, talk to their peers, family, and neighbors about their concerns and take action to address them.
Youth Council members represent young people in their aldermanic districts. They meet with leaders like the Mayor, Common Council, School Superintendent, business owners, and community groups to advocate for youth. The community is invited to attend all Youth Council meetings and most meetings are broadcast on City Channel 25.
MYC felt that in light of the most recent State Fair episode, this was an opportunity to give the press and the public an opportunity to hear about the positive actions, the leadership initiatives and the success of Milwaukee’s youth.
Youth Council president Zachary Komes (District 10) stated, “The Youth Council has done incredible work this term. We’ve worked to take a legislative stand against the marketing of alcoholic malt beverages to young people, we’ve urged changes to the state budget, we’ve reviewed proposals for youth development funds and we’re setting the example: just this week youth from Chicago who are trying to establish a council of their own have come to study how we operate and lead.”
Other young leaders were also invited to present as guests of the Youth Council members including those involved in Pearls for Teen Girls, the Be the Change project, Urban Underground, Urban Diversity and Voces de la Frontera.
“The events at State Fair Park earned so much attention from the public,” Komes said, “We want to show the public that there are youth making positive efforts to build a better Milwaukee and there is great dedication among the young leaders in our community. The violent actions of a few shouldn’t be showcased over and above the continued efforts of many.”
The Milwaukee Youth Council was established in 2004 under an ordinance sponsored by Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. “I strongly believe that creating a youth council is a legitimate way of giving our young people a voice in their affairs while also getting them engaged in civic life and, hopefully, sparking their interest in public service,” Ald. Davis said.
Student terms are one year long and the group meets formally once a month and informally as an executive committee once a month at City Hall. The group’s meetings are open to the public and the formal meetings are televised on City Channel 25. News of the students’ efforts is also available on Facebook or through Twitter, @mkeyouthcouncil.