West Jordan restarting its youth council this summerMay 08, 2023 03:11PM ● By Travis Barton
The West Valley Youth City Council at its end of year celebration in 2016. (File photo City Journals)
Teenagers will be involved in city government.
At least that’s part of the idea behind the West Jordan City Council restarting the city’s youth council.
The Youth Council Program, sponsored by the council under city code, would start in June before being fully organized in August with members being sworn in. The program would help teach youth leadership principles, provide opportunities to participate in service events and learn and participate in the West Jordan city government.
“There are lots of things we can do to build the skills of the high school youth in West Jordan,” Councilmember Kelvin Green said.
Councilmember Pamela Bloom said she participated in a youth council as a teenager where they worked with city attorneys and city council, underwent leadership trainings, met with legislators and worked on mock punishments for their peers who broke the law.
Councilmembers said the program could also encourage further civic engagement with kids, whether through city government or volunteering for other committees.
In March of last year, some youth councils across the valley went to a three-day leadership conference at Utah State in Logan.
Draper’s youth council typically runs a youth court, service projects for events and set up the Meet the Candidate night for elections. Taylorsville’s youth council ran a clothing drive last year with its 15 members.
Green said they opted for a June start to get the youth involved in the Western Stampede.
Startup costs would be $2,500 to cover “apparel or other ancillary start expenses.” Sandy’s youth council receives approximately $5,000 per year while Taylorsville budgets $8,000 for its council.
Councilmember Chris McConnehey asked for flexibility in the planned policies and procedures, to not lock themselves into anything as the program finds its feet.
For now, the City Council opened the program up from freshmen to seniors. Students from public schools, private schools and home schooled are all invited to apply.
Applications for West Jordan’s youth council can be found on the city’s website. λ