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City Officials Invite Youths To Kansas City.

NLC has encouraged mayors and council members to bring youth to the Congress of Cities as participating delegates--a first for an NLC Congress of Cities. At least 100 youth delegates from 17 states are expected.

This youth participation is by invitation only, to be extended by a state municipal league or a municipal official in the youth's hometown. There is no registration fee for youths (age 18 and under), and special plans ore underway to include these participating young people throughout the conference. Most youth participants are 15-18 years old and serve on their city's Youth Council or otherwise have a solid base of participation in community activities, school leadership, or civic affairs.

Goal for Youth Participation

At this conference, NIL will begin to implement the recommendation from NLC's Task Force on Youth, Education, and Families that NLC enlist youth as partners. The Task Force was chaired by Boston Mayor Tom Menino, with Waco Mayor Mike Morrison and Council President Pro Tem Les Wright as vice chairs.

The Task Force recommended, and the NLC Board approved, that NLC establish a youth council to advise NLC on the youth, education, and families agenda and prepared a report that includes the belief that "youth are key players in the community and should be nurtured and engaged as partners."

Key Activities

During this year's Congress of Cities, youth have been invited to participate in the conference as delegates, speakers, and performers. There is a track of nine youth-related workshops, and there is a Saturday morning plenary session devoted to youth. At a special "youth only" session on Friday, all the youth delegates will be convened and encouraged to provide advice to NLC about how best to create ongoing youth participation in NLC activities.

Youth delegates are welcome to attend and participate in any workshop or plenary session of interest, not just those with a youth focus. All sessions will be listed in the conference program, which will be available on-site.

We recognize the difficulty of youth missing school for up to an entire week Therefore, although some events are on Thursday, most of the youth focus is on Friday, December 4, and Saturday, December 5.

Benefits to Youth

What will youth get out of this experience?

Each youth will have the opportunity to:

* attend up to 9 workshops on youth-related issues.

* visit the "Showcase of Cities" to see examples of effective municipal programs.

* advise NLC on how to create and sustain meaningful youth participation in the organization.

* learn more about municipal government and how it works.

* learn more about civic participation and leadership.

* learn about program ideas and strategies that they can share in their schools and hometowns.

* meet youth and local elected officials from different regions of the country.

* participate in the Saturday morning plenary session, which be a "Celebration of Youth."

RELATED ARTICLE: Task Force Offers Youth

The Task Force on Youth, Education, and Families has prepared, and the Board has approved, a Vision Statement that is being distributed during the Congress of Cities and that will be mailed shortly to all member cities. The Task Force also recommended specific actions for NLC, which have been approved in principle by the Board.

These include:

* strengthening and institutionalizing NLC's organization-wide commitment and capacity to support the youth, education, and families agenda throughout its membership;

* development of ways for youth to participate in the Congress of Cities and for them to provide advice to NLC; and

* establishment of an "institute" on municipal roles in issues affecting youth, education, and families as a preeminent national resource and a leading national advocate, recognizing that this "institute" will have functions both within, and outside, NLC. The "institute" will collect and promote successful strategies; create interactive forums to develop and explore new programs, policies, and strategies; recruit and convene national organizations and academic institutions to apply their resources and expertise; and recognize and promote achievement around the youth, education, and families agenda.

Details: Contact NLC's Program for Children and Families in Cities at (202) 626-3030 or by e-mail at <kyle@nlc.org>.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities invites youth to Congress of Cities
Author:Kyle, John E.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 30, 1998
Words:675
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