When Councilwoman Gloria Taylor suggested formation of a youth commission Monday, it reminded me of the fact that two Youth Commissions were created by ordinance in 2006, three months into the administration of former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs. One or both had the backing of Linda Carter, then a councilwoman and now a freeholder.
In the years since creation of the commissions, youth concerns have come up over and over again. But one commission never received any members and the other had four appointees out of a possible 15, with three of them being from one family. No successors or additional members were named.
It's hard to say whether the commissions, if active, would have helped to stem the violence that has taken too many young lives. But over eight years, they might have produced a cadre of young people who could tell their peers how city government works and why civic engagement is important.
This Plaintalker post spells out the criteria for the two commissions. Perhaps Councilwoman Taylor would lift her ban on reading blogs long enough to see what was intended for young people in forming these commissions. Or she could look them up in the Municipal Code on the city web site. For some reason, MC 2006-10 is now appended to MC 2006-13 under Chapter 3, Article 40 of the Municipal Code.