Utica Youth Common Council is getting a reboot

At Wednesday night's Utica Common Council meeting, the council passed a resolution to reinstate the Youth Common Council.

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 11:24 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Youth Common Council is getting a reboot.

Delvin Moody created the Utica Youth Common Council in 2013. He now represents the 5th Ward in the city of Utica.

"It was an opportunity for young people to be involved in the decision making process," Moody said.

At Wednesday night's Utica Common Council meeting, the council passed a resolution to reinstate the Youth Common Council.

"You really inspire a generation and really send a message that not only are politicians and elected officials listening, but there's a mechanism now in city government where if you have an idea as a young person, you can come forward and be heard," Delvin.

This time around, the council appointed an advisor to the Youth Common Council to create more stability. Stephanie Heiland will serve a two year term as the advisor.

The Youth Common Council will have 10 members, six members to represent each of the six districts, three at large, and one youth clerk.

"They're going to be able to do some research and some development, kind of find out what the actual common council is working on, and then develop some ideas, some resolutions around that and then they'll be able to present their ideas to the common council," Heiland said.

The idea behind the Youth Council is to get the younger generation involved in local politics and decision making.

"It's important to have kids involved in anything to keep them out of trouble, off the streets, and doing stuff productive," Heiland said.

Delvin says it will also be beneficial to have a different perspective.

"What do they feel, where do they feel the city can go, are we missing anything, are we doing things positive, what are we doing good, how can we improve," Delvin said.

Involving kids in local politics is a way to keep them in the city and open them up to a future in politics, like Delvin.

"People come up to me today and say 'I know you're a council person now, but you really inspired me as a youth council person,'" Delvin said. "That experience was life changing and motivating."

To be apart of the council, you must be a junior or senior in high school who lives and goes to school in Utica and have a good academic standing.

“The application process does require a letter of recommendation from somebody from the school as well as somebody from the community to prove they are an active member of the community," Heiland said.

Application will be reviewed by a committee, presented to the common council, and then individuals will be appointed.

The application process starts February 24 and ends March 15. You can pick up an application at Utica City Hall and eventually, there will be an online application.

"The consumer of a great part of city services are young people, so I think the Youth Council provides them a more coherent way to be engaged in the conversations that happen in city hall daily," Delvin said.

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