Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Revive the Youth Commission

Does anyone remember the Youth Commission established in 2006? Many of its goals are even more relevant today for engaging young people in civic life, but only four of a possible 15 members were appointed initially and all their terms expired years ago.

Now that the new city website makes it easier to access information on boards and commissions, one hopes that more people will volunteer to serve. Thursday's Listening Session for a Youth Summit might be a good place to start recruiting applicants to serve on the Youth Commission.

From the Plainfield Plaintalker archive, here is a post on the Youth Commission.

Here's an excerpt from the new city website explaining more about the Youth Commission:

A.        It shall be the duty of the Commission to advise the Mayor and City Council on the needs, concerns, accomplishments and contributions of the Plainfield Youth community as well as the impact of legislation or the lack thereof and its effect on the Plainfield Youth community.

B.        The Commission shall elicit input from the youth community by, among other things, visiting community centers, meeting with community leaders, attending and sponsoring community meetings and taking any other actions it deems necessary to carry out its purposes.  The Commission shall annually report its findings and recommendations to the Mayor and City Council in a form agreeable to the Mayor and City Council.

C.        In addition, the Commission shall:
1.                  Provide a direct communication vehicle between the youth of the City and City administration.
2.                  Provide Youth Commission members with the experience of working with City government and to install a sense of civic responsibility.
3.                  Provide leadership opportunities for teenage citizens of Plainfield.
4.                  Create projects that relate to the Youth Commission purpose and objectives.
5.                  Provide a vehicle for dialogue with youth on pertinent issues that may exist from time to time and which impact upon the youth population of the City of Plainfield and/or youth population at large.
6.                  Educate the youth residents about opportunities to serve the community, recruit and support the youth residents to become actively involved in the City’s boards, commissions and political bodies.


  1. I agree, Bernice, that the Youth Commission needs to be revived--I am hopeful that the listening sessions are bringing out young people in a way that is positive and engaging. The full title of the actual summit itself is the "Plainfield Youth Summit on Education and Employment," which is squarely where the focus should be. How do our young people feel about the education they are receiving, about their prospects for college, about their employment prospects--both short term and long term? These are among the questions I ask my students as we look toward the future. I hope the session will be well-attended. So many people say say that they care about our youth, but the proof is in the pudding--I hope every parent, guardian, and/or mentor will bring a young person to the listening session.



  2. Thank you for this, Bernice. We need this commission. I've been advocating skareboard parks to get our kids off the streets with their skateboards and into a much safer area.