Youth on Local Government Boards and Committees

Kenosha County Youth In Governance participants

Kenosha County Youth In Governance participants

UW-Extension is working with county boards and city councils and their committees to include youth representation in several Wisconsin counties.

 Youth representatives on full elected board

Adams County: The Adams County SAYL Program helps young people and government officials work together. The purpose of the program is to create a model of youth involvement within Adams County through direct participation in local government. The overall goal is to engage youth in community issues and concerns while fostering the development of confident, independent, and motivated youth leaders. SAYL Through an application process youth are selected to serve on the County Board including one of four Adams County Board Committees where they have a voice in the decisions that affect them and their community locally.

City of Brodhead has created 4 youth seats on the Brodhead City Council.  Youth will be expected to participate in Council discussions as well as serve on at least one City committee.  Youth will have advisory votes and will participate in all discussions except for those that occur in closed-session. Youth will be provided with a mentor and will serve on committees in pairs. 2015 is the pilot year of this program and community members are invited to nominate youth to apply. This program is made possible through a partnership between the City of Brodhead, the Brodhead School District, and Green County UW-Extension.

Douglas County and City of Superior: Three youth representatives and three alternates are selected by application and appointed to two-year terms. Representatives cast advisory votes and alternates serve on standing committees. Youth receive meeting stipends for their participation. In the City of Superior, two youth representatives and two alternates are selected by application and appointed to two-year terms. Representatives cast advisory votes and alternates serve on standing committees.

Oneida County: Youth representatives and alternates serve one-year terms on the county board and may cast an advisory vote.

Vilas County: This initiative provides youth an opportunity to play a valuable and active leadership role in the governance of the county while enhancing their interest in the operation of local government and civic participation. Two youth are selected to serve a one-year term (September – August) with the opportunity for a possible second term. The youth representatives select a committee that they serve on in addition to the full county board. Youth who have served in these roles have found their experience to be very valuable and educational. County board supervisors support this initiative and recognize the value of having the voice of young people on the board.

Washburn CountyTwo youth representatives and two alternates are selected by application and appointed to one-year terms. Representatives cast advisory votes and serve on standing committees. The Washburn County Board of Supervisors welcomes youth in grades 9, 10, and 11 who are residents of Washburn County to apply to serve as youth representatives on the County Board. This initiative provides Washburn County youth an opportunity to play a valuable and active leadership role in the governance of the county while enhancing their interest in the operation of local government and civic participation.

Youth representatives on committees

Dane County: Youth serve in an advisory capacity, with two on each of the following standing committees: Personnel & Finance, Health & Human Needs, Public Protection & Judiciary, Public Works & Transportation, Environment, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Zoning & Land Regulation.

Kenosha County: The purpose of the Youth In Governance program is to create a model of youth empowerment within Kenosha County through direct participation in local government and community service. Youth participating in the program serve on each of the Kenosha County Board Committees and the Joint Services Board. Two youth representatives sit on Finance/Administration, Human Services, Judiciary & Law, Planning, Development & Extension Education, Public Works/Facilities, and Joint Services. They are selected by application to the Planning, Development & Extension Education committee. YIG members participate in discussions and cast advisory votes. For more information, an evaluation paper  was published in 2014.

City of Monroe: The City of Monroe invites youth to apply for positions on City committees. Youth will have advisory votes and will participate in all discussions except for those that occur in closed-session. Youth will be provided with a mentor and will serve on committees in pairs. 2015 is the pilot year of this program. This program is made possible through a partnership between the City of Monroe, the Monroe School District, and Green County UW-Extension.

The Marquette County Board of Supervisors welcomes youth in grades 11 and 12 who are residents of Marquette County to serve as Youth Representatives on the County Board. Up to nine youth can be selected through an application process. Youth serve as voting members on standing committees. Selected students serve a one-year term of office. The Marquette County Youth in Governance Program provides an opportunity for Marquette County youth to play a valuable and active leadership role in the governance of the county, while enhancing their interest in the operation of local government and civic participation.

Racine County: Ten youth representatives serve in an advisory capacity, with two serving on each Racine County Board Committee: Economic Development and Land Use Planning, Finance and Human Resources, Government Services, Health and Human Development, and Public Works, Parks and Facilities.

City of Waupaca: One voting position on each of the five city committees is reserved by city statute for a youth member. The mayor appoints all members.