The San Mateo County Youth Commission was established in 1993 — a huge win for youth voice at local decision-making tables. A recognized entity of city government, Youth Commissions increase awareness of and advocate for youth issues, advise the Board of Supervisors, present policy recommendations, and create projects that serve the community.
The San Mateo County Youth Commission is made up of 25 young people, ages 13-21, from across the county’s 5 districts. It is funded by the Health and Policy Planning Unit of the County’s Health System, and reports to the Board of Supervisors. As program lead, yli ensured that there was equitable representation across the county, and particularly from underrepresented areas.
In 2017-2018, the youth broke out into 5 committees to address the diverse issues facing San Mateo’s youth. They also organized and implemented the 2nd Annual Youth Summit, bringing together youth commissions from across the state to discuss key issues within their communities, share best practices, and formulate a vision for strengthening the network of youth leaders throughout California.
Their work was highlighted in this case study about the Get Healthy San Mateo County collaborative, which is advocating for health equity across the county.