What is this policy about?
Young people are rarely included in the political process – even in the decision-making that directly affects them. Good youth-related policy – like the billions Californians spend each year on the education system and social services – requires stakeholder input, so young people must be the first stakeholders to engage for their first-hand perspectives. This bill would establish the California Youth Empowerment Commission, which would be the first statewide advisory body to the government comprised solely of youth.
Moreover, at least half of the commissioners will have experienced youth homelessness, foster care, juvenile incarceration, or have special needs, ensuring representation from traditionally underserved youth. The Commission’s duties will include examining and discussing policy, holding meetings and roundtables with youth advocates and the public, and investing in youth by providing grants to programs that seek to address youth concerns.
How does it align with yli’s values?
For almost 30 years, yli has worked alongside youth to lift up their experiences and insights, and sharpen their leadership and advocacy skills. Establishing Student Advisory Committees and Youth Commissions at the local level has been a core strategy for including youth at decision-making tables. Creating a state-level advisory commission represents a critical next step toward furthering this strategy.
What is yli doing about it?
We have just signed a letter of endorsement, crafted by the California Association of Student Councils. And, we are voicing our support on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Who else has endorsed this policy?
- California Association of Student Councils
- California Coalition for Youth
- Alliance for Boys & Men of Color
- San Francisco Youth Commission
- California Youth Connection
- San Francisco Bay Area Student Activists
- Asm. Luz Rivas
- Senator Scott Wiener
- Senator Henry Stern
- Asm. Evan Low
- Senator Ben Allen
- Senator Lena Gonzalez
- Asm. Boerner Horvath
- Asm. Jim Cooper
- Asm. Eduardo Garcia
- Asm. Freddie Rodriguez
- Asm. Jose Medina
- Asm. Blanca Rubio
- Asm. Kevin Mullin