Marlborough students Amanda ’18, Claire ’18, Jenna ’19, Amanda ’19 and Cynara ’20 have recently been appointed to the Mayor’s Youth Council, a committee that advises current Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. The council is made up of six or seven groups of economically and academically diverse students from the Los Angeles area who will meet once a month to discuss problems that affect them and their communities.
According to information given to new council members, the goal of the program is for students involved to “hone their leadership skills in the areas of political and civic engagement, and community volunteerism.”
The council’s first project is to volunteer for a day to clear litter in Los Angeles in order to make the cities’ neighborhoods cleaner, as a positive reflection on those who live there. Each group will pick a set of streets in their neighborhood to clean, which have been marked by an app developed by the city. Through this app, members of the community can photograph graffiti, trash or large items that need to be picked up, so that the streets can be cleaned by employees of the city and, occasionally council members.
According to Amanda, the future groups of council members will suggest projects about urgent issues, and Garcetti will fund those he thinks are most important.
Garcetti originally began thinking about the importance of connecting with teenagers after meeting with youth speaking out in Los Angeles. After the fatal police shooting in Florida of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American teenager in 2012, Garcetti noticed large numbers of teenagers protesting in South Central Los Angeles and wanted to bring them together to understand their views better.
Cynara, 9th Grade athletics representative, became interested in the program when she heard an announcement in class meeting and decided to apply this year for an advisor position.
“I wanted to learn more about the city government, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to do that,” she said.
Amanda said she signed on because she hopes to be exposed to new opinions, and also said she is looking forward to making connections with people in politics. She said she was interested because of the lack of attention paid to local politics during this election cycle.
Both Amanda and Cynara said they want to make a difference in their communities and learn more about politics, while bringing new projects and discussions to the Marlborough and Los Angeles communities.
“We’re the next generation of change-makers and what’s happening now is going to influence not only us but our kids and everyone after us. It’s important because you should be invested in your future,” Amanda said.