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Washtenaw County Commissioners to vote on first youth commission May 15

Teens from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and surrounding area will act in advisory role

The youth task force has been working since October 2018 to create a proposal for a youth commission in Washtenaw County. Photo | Neutral Zone facebook.
The youth task force has been working since October 2018 to create a proposal for a youth commission in Washtenaw County. Photo | Neutral Zone facebook.

ANN ARBOR, Mich – On May 15, the Washtenaw County Commissioners will consider a proposal to create the first county youth commission.

Participants in the youth commission will be Washtenaw County teens, age 13 to 18. They will act in leadership and advisory roles as they gather data and assess the needs of local youth, as well as educate themselves on critical issues. The youth commission will also make recommendations for changes pending their assessments and will be supported by Lori Roddy and Kelsey Cavanagh-Strong of the Neutral Zone, as well as a County Commissioner liaison.  

“I’m so proud of the proposal developed by these amazing young people from across our county over the last year,” said County Commission Chairman Jason Morgan. “It has been very exciting to initiate this effort with Commissioner Felicia Brabec and the leadership from Neutral Zone and Corner Health."  

“I am impressed with the group of outstanding teens from across our county who’ve worked over the past year to now present a proposal for the County’s first-ever County Youth Commission.”

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Since October 2018, 18 teens from the nine districts of Washtenaw County have been meeting monthly to engage in workshops to develop a deeper understanding of local government, meet with their respective commissioners and to create their proposal for a youth commission.

The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E Washington St.      Photo | Neutral Zone facebook page
The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E Washington St. Photo | Neutral Zone facebook page

The previous May, 24 youth agencies within the county met to discuss the value and need of a youth commission, the support such a commission would need to ensure diverse participation and to discuss how to better engage local youth in local civics.

The task force has been supported by the Neutral Zone, Corner Health and Katie Richards Schuster of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

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