The Fresno Youth Commission was established in February 2016, thanks to the powerful advocacy efforts of yli’s Boys and Men of Color. The story was covered by reporter Laura Baker, of yli’s Fresno youth media hub, the kNOw.
The establishment of this Youth Commission is HUGE! Youth Commissions are the voice of youth in local government. A recognized entity of city government, the Fresno Youth Commission is responsible for advising Fresno City Council and the Mayor on policies and laws related to young people. The Commission is also charged with providing comments and recommendations on all proposed laws that would primarily affect youth before the council takes any final actions. It is a key platform for bringing youth voice to the decision-making table.
The Fresno Youth Commission, first launched in April 2016, is composed of 16 young people — 2 representatives for each of Fresno’s 7 city council districts, and 2 at-large members appointed by the Mayor. In the past years, the Commissioners have brought multiple recommendations that have been approved by Fresno City Council and the Mayor. These include:
- Based on the Youth Commission’s recommendations, City Council allocated $300,000 for youth jobs in the city of Fresno for the 2020 fiscal year.
- In October 2020, the Youth Commission supported their Friday Night Live peers to ensure that the Council passed the Responsible Neighborhood Market Act (RNMA). This act finalized language that was added to RNMO a year ago and solidifies that the city abides by the act as law.
- In 2021, the Commission successfully advocated for the Zero Fare Clean Air Act, which provides free transportation through March 2022.
- In 2021, the Commission facilitated the 1st & 2nd Mayoral Youth Town Halls to gauge the issues youth are facing and list resources that are available. This led to the concept of a Youth Information Hub supported by the city.
In recognition of this incredible work, the City of Fresno Youth Commission was selected among Youth Commissions across the state to receive the Helen Putnam award through the California League of Cities in September 2018.
Interested in serving as a Commissioner?
Commissioners are appointed by the Fresno City Council for 2-year terms. Interested Fresno youth, ages 15-21, may apply — positions are currently open. All youth are welcome to participate, but only appointed commissioners can vote. Commissioners are expected to attend monthly meetings during the school year. At least 10 hours of participation in community events is also required.
**Make sure to select “Fresno Youth Commission” on the dropdown menu.