LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Starting today, Angelenos who are 16 to 25 years old can apply to be on the city's new Youth Council, which is modeled after a program created by Mayor Tom Bradley that current Councilman Paul Koretz served on.
The paid program will consist of 30 people, two youth representatives from each council district, to serve a one-year term. The group will learn about the inner workings of Los Angeles as they work alongside city department staff and provide recommendations on ways to solve issues in their neighborhoods.
The program was created following a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council on May 5. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced the motion with Koretz and Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is currently suspended from the City Council following his indictment in a federal corruption case.
Ridley-Thomas and former council members Tom LaBonge and Wendy Greuel were also alumni of the program.
Rodriguez said Thursday that creating the youth council ``was my way of ensuring we keep the door open for young people to learn and participate in their local government.''
The new youth council is named the ``Olivia Mitchell Youth Council,'' for the woman who oversaw the previous youth council.
``Olivia Mitchell established the original Youth Council in the office of Mayor Tom Bradley, so it was important to me that we honor that legacy that laid the groundwork for so many of us to be civically engaged,'' Rodriguez added. ``Availing this opportunity as a paid position demonstrates our genuine interest and value in having diverse participation from every part of our city.''
According to Rodriguez' office, Mitchell had a passion for educating youth in Los Angeles and her work impacted thousands of people.
``The hard work and determination of our youth both past and present, has allowed us to create a new citywide youth council for the first time in decades and will give our young people a broader opportunity to lead and set a standard for impactful youth civic engagement," said Olivia Mitchell in a statement provided by Rodriguez' office.
The application will be open through Feb. 28. People interested in joining the program can go to youthcouncil.lacity.org.