The newly appointed members of the Youth Commission were sworn in by Clerk of the Courts Harvey Ruvin. They were joined by their parents and Commissioners of the districts in which they represent.
Students ranging in age from 15 to 18 years are the new faces at Miami-Dade County Hall as local leaders officially welcomed the group to the County's first Youth Commission. The commission, conceived by Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, was developed to provide young residents an opportunity to learn and participate in County government by articulating the issues and needs of youth in the community. The swearing-in ceremony and certificate presentation was held at County Hall on Monday, December 19, 2011.
In their new positions, members of the Youth Commission will advise the Mayor and Commissioners on matters and programs affecting the youth and teen population. The Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department, under the umbrella of the County's Violence Intervention Project (VIP), has also been behind the initiative's implementation.
"Since the Youth Commission was installed in March, they have met on a monthly basis to discuss issues affecting all youth in Miami-Dade County," said Commissioner Jordan. "It makes me so proud to see how these bright, young minds move forward and develop such an understanding on how local government works."
Each commissioner appointed a student representing each of the secondary schools in his or her district. The appointments were made based on nominations by Miami-Dade County Public Schools and an orientation process. To be qualified, students had to be in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, have a minimum 2.0 grade point average, demonstrate a sincere interest and motivation to work for the community, and have a background in community-based activities.
Some responsibilities the selected members will be charged with include fostering increased youth involvement in County government, holding forums on issues concerning local youth, recommending community programs beneficial to youths, commenting on proposed legislation impacting youths, and submitting an annual report of activities to the County Commission and Mayor. Additionally, each member will meet with the official who appointed them on a quarterly basis to discuss teen and community issues of concern to them. The Youth Commission will meet at the call of the Chairperson or at the request of the majority of the membership, but no less than once a month. The group will be subject to the Government in the Sunshine and Public Records requirements. Members will serve one year terms, and can only serve two terms at most.
The Youth Commission is currently focusing its efforts on preventing violence in schools and is planning a community event for the upcoming year. The first meeting was televised and took place in the Commission Chambers at Government Center where pertinent youth-related issues were discussed.
For more information, please contact Commissioner Jordan's office at 305-375-5694.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan congratulate Michael Ivory for serving on the Youth Commission. Ivory, who is in the 10th Grade, is a student at North Miami Senior High School and he represents the Mayor's Office.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan congratulates Annette Valero, who represents Miami-Dade Public Schools on the Youth Commission. Valero, who is in the 12th Grade, attends Miami Senior High School.
(Photo credit: Armando Rodriguez/Miami-Dade County)