F.A.Q. (Frequently asked questions)
How was the Philadelphia Youth Commission established?
Realizing the impact youth commissions were making in other urban cities, PYC was born out of the activism of a few passionate youth. After partnering with Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), they lobbied City Council to support the creation of PYC. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown believed in PYC’s mission and sponsored legislation that put a Youth Commission Initiative on the 2007 ballot. Determined to ensure the Initiative passed, these young people formed the Working Group, a collection of politically active youth from all corners of Philadelphia. Thanks to PCCY and Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, the measure passed successfully garnering 75% of the vote. The Philadelphia Youth Commission began service on January 1, 2008.
What is the Philadelphia Youth Commission?
The Philadelphia Youth Commission is a panel of young Philadelphians who would review legislation and policies that affect youth and advise the Mayor and City Council on those issues. The Commission consists of 21 young people between the ages of 12 and 23. Each City Council member appoints one Youth Commissioner and the Mayor appoints four.
What do the Members of the Youth Commission do?
The Youth Commission will hold monthly meetings and Youth Commission members will also meet monthly with their appointing Council Members and/or the Mayor’s Staff. They will be able to hold hearings on specific issues and they will meet regularly with other youth groups to keep up with the needs and desires of the community in which they live.
Can the Commission Initiate or Vote on Legislation?
Youth Commissioners will not be able to vote on legislation. They will have the opportunity to write legislation which can only be introduced if sponsored by a City Councilperson. However, the Youth Commission will be able to make public recommendations and reports about issues impacting youth. The Commission can also take positions about pieces of legislation before City Council.
How can I get Involved?
The Philadelphia Youth Commission strives to give a voice and lend support to youth throughout the city. You can help by spreading the word about the youth commission, or raising issues to your commissioner. The Youth Commission is constantly searching for new venues through which we can support youth. If you are a member of a group or an organizer of an event with similar goals, we would be eager to work with you.