In Oregon, Youth Help Shape County Living

youth bill of rights
SparkAction
Caitlin Johnson
December 5, 2013

In the city of Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding Multnomah County, the real-world impacts of youth engagement are almost too many to catalogue. This is no accident: youth engagement is guided by the first-in-the-nation Bill of Rights written by and for youth, and a measurable Action Plan. Over the years, genuine youth input into local policies has become the norm, not the exception—with free bus passes for students, better school-based health care, and antiviolence wins just a few of the resulting successes.

The Backbone: “Our Bill of Rights”

In 2006, Portland, Oregon became the first city in the U.S. to enact a Youth Bill of Rights written by children and youth. Within months, Multnomah County adopted the bill as well.

Our Bill of Rights, Children + Youth lays out the fundamental rights of youth in six areas: education, health, general well-being, recreation, youth voice, and family, home and community. It connects aspiration goals with concrete “rights”— for example, that youth “have the right to emotional well-being, and the right to an adequate support system,” and that students must be included on school boards.  It specifies that young people “have the right to follow our own spiritual path”— and that “we have the right to access adequate nutrition, and the community should provide for this right.”

“There’s something intoxicating about telling the mayor of your city what you think, and then seeing him take action to carry out your dream. It’s even more amazing when you get to work with his staff to accomplish your goals every single day,” says MYC alum Lisa Frank, who helped craft the Bill of Rights.

More than 4,000 young people were involved in the bill’s creation.  It began with a youth-led “constitutional convention” in the summer of 2006 that brought over 500 local youth together to write and ratify the concise document that would ultimately be adopted by local government.

Throughout the process, the Multnomah Youth Commission (MYC)—the official youth policy body for the city and county, made up of 27 young people ages 13 to 21—helped drive the work from idea to enactment.

Building in Accountability

To ensure that the Bill of Rights translates into measurable on-the-ground change, the MYC developed an Action Plan to guide the work of the Youth Commission.

When new youth commissioners are sworn in, the Bill of Rights and the Action Plan are re-evaluated to be sure they are still relevant and complete, and are updated as needed.  “This way, instead of a small group of youth deciding what the main policy issues should be each year, we have the voices of thousands of young people to determine policy priorities,” says Marc Fernandes, youth development coordinator for the county.

Each year, the issues that rise to the top are given priority attention. When the Bill of Rights was first enacted, access to health care and transit were the most common areas of concern among local youth. So the MYC prioritized these in their action plan. 

A Series of Wins

First, they focused on using youth input to reshape flagging school-based health centers so they would reach more young people. (See related Snapshot.)

Next, MYC members focused on making sure all young people had better, more affordable ways to get to and from school and to after-school activities and jobs. They pushed for the creation of a free bus pass for local students. Now, Portland public high school students have 24/7 access to free bus rides during the school year, saving families an estimated $3 million each year. (Get the YouthPASS story in this snapshot.)

The MYC is currently working to expand the program to every public middle and high school in the county, which will require new bus routes to be created.

This, of course, could benefit the larger community. And that’s something the MYC knows a lot about.

In 2011, spurred on by a record number of gang-involved shootings and, at the same time, a spate of anti-gay violence, the MYC launched its youth anti-violence project, which has resulted in a countywide collective impact effort that links schools and school administrators, faith groups, county and city government, and local nonprofits. The MYC has developed a comprehensive Youth Against Violence Action Planthat is part policy brief, part historical record of the work to date. It’s 100 percent a compelling and substantive narrative of the youth-led effort and its impacts, designed to help other youth across the country undertake similar work. (Read more about the Youth Against Violence work in this snapshot.)

"Our Bill of Rights: Children + Youth made me realize how powerful young people can be,” says Perla Alvarez, former MYC youth co-chair.  “The Bill of Rights gives us the right to voice our opinions in the decisions that impact our lives. …  I wish every single young person in Portland knew about this document."

Being involved with the MYC has lifelong resonance for many young alumni. “The MYC was a launch pad for various projects I have been a part of, and many achievements began in a room with my committee during a Sunday meeting, dreaming up solutions to issues important to use as youth,” says MYC alum Jackie Altamirano.  “It helped me know that as a young person of color, I mattered and my voice does have power.”

About the Multnomah Youth Commission

The Multnomah Youth Commission (MYC) is the official youth policy body for Multnomah County and the City of Portland, Oregon, comprising young people ages 13 to 21.

It started in 1996 as a small Multnomah County Youth Advisory Board to advise the county’s Commission on Children, Youth, Families & Community on issues that policymakers identified as priorities.  In 2002, youth members developed bylaws that shifted the group from an advisory board to a commission; the County Board approved the shift and the Multnomah Youth Commission was officially launched. Now, instead of reacting to policymakers’ goals, the members identify their own priorities and build campaigns to inform local policy.

Staffing: The MYC can have a maximum of 42 youth across the city and county. For the 2013-2014 session, the Commission includes 27 youth commissioners, supported by a full-time adult youth development coordinator, Marc Fernandes, a full-time AmeriCorps Vista worker, two part-time college students, and a part-time high school-age staff member. Official by-laws define the structure and function of the MYC.

Funding: The Youth Commission operates as a partnership between the county and the city of Portland under an intergovernmental agreement. It receives some county funds and has also raised over $300,000 in grants funders like the Penney Family Fund and StateFarm.

See also:  


This snapshot is part of SparkAction's Youth Impact series, short profiles of youth councils and commissions that are influencing local and state policies and practices. SparkAction is producing this series in partnership with the youth-led Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council and with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

To suggest an impact story, please contact Caitlin Johnson, managing editor, at caitlin@sparkaction.org.

Share this SparkAction Link: click here to shorten
copy http://sparkaction.org/content/oregon-youth-help-shape-county-living

thanks for the information about this topic its really great..AnyTrans 6.2.0 Crack

December 4 at 07:49am

Image Host Support - BID works with almost all popular image hosting sites, such as flickr, imagevenue, imagefap, imageshack, imagebam, etc. Camtasia Patch Social Networking Sites - BID supports album downloading from sites such as facebook, myspace, and twitter related hosts like tweetphoto.com, twitpic.com, Full Sized Images - BID uses an advanced heuristic scoring method to locate full sized images. This means BID can work on most galleries automatically, with no user configuration necessary. Batch Downloading - Automatically download from huge lists of gallery URLs via the integrated Queue Manager. Web Browser Integration - BID integrates with IE, Opera, FireFox and Chrome. You can clean it by Ccleaner Pro Crack Just right click inside your browser window and select "Open current page with BID" Web Forum Support - BID can scan multi page forum threads and quickly extract all image links Multi Page Gallery Downloads - BID can detect and download from most popular multi page web galleries out of the box. Password Protected Websites - BID will prompt for user names and passwords if the web site requires them. Video Downloading - It's not just for images - BID also supports VIDEO downloading from directly linked video files (.avi, .wmv, .mpeg, .mov, .flv, .mp4, etc) Embedded images - Apart from locating and downloading full sized imaged, BID can also download images embedded on a page Sequenced image filenames (fusker) - BID supports 'ranged' URLs for sequenced image downloading. e.g. http://mysite/pics/image[001-100] Image Validation - BID checks every image to make sure it's been downloaded correctly. Invalid images are retried automatically. Resume Downloads - BID will resume downloads from the point at which the connection was broken. Multi Threaded Downloading - BID can download up to 50 images at once. Download those galleries quickly! Redirection Resolution -Some sites use image redirection "services" like imagecash, urlcash etc. to display adverts before redirecting to the imagehost. BID automatically resolves these types of links. Bulk Image Downloader registration Code
File name unmangling - BID will retrieve the correct file name from image hosts that scramble filenames (where possible), such as imagevenue, imagefap. Generate File names - Optionally create your own sequenced file names for image hosts that scramble the file names, Export Galleries to HTML or BB Code - Cracked Software Quickly generate gallery code suitable for pasting into web forums. Advanced Configuration - BID has many advanced settings for things like Javascript processing, redirection handling, and more for those tricky galleries that thwart BID's download attempts. We're happy to help out with these settings if you get stuck. Bulk Image Downloader automatically downloads and saves images and videos from thumbnailed web galleries, bypassing all annoying popups and adverts. It can also extract image information from regular text files (such as saved HTML pages or plain text files containing links) and web pages where image links are listed as plain text. Almost all popular image hosting sites are supported and it's built in image location technology can locate the full sized image in most web pages no matter what the layout or redirection methods used. Original image filenames are extracted where possible, but an option to generate sequential filenames is available for those image hosts that scramble the filenames. Bulk Image Downloader Crack integrates with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera via the right click context menu for even easier downloading. Download thumbnail gallery images interactively or send them to the Queue Manager and have them all downloaded automatically one gallery at a time. Images that fail to download within a batch are automatically saved to new "retry" batches that can easily be requeued for download. Use the BID Link Explorer to quickly extract multiple gallery links from gallery "index" pages (pages listing multiple galleries) and quickly queue them for download. Most popular image hosts are supported, including flickr, imagevenue, imagefap, imagereverb, imagebam, imageshack, and too many others too list here. BID also supports video downloading from selected flash based video sites like youtube, google video, dailymotion, metacafe. Bulk Image Downloader Keygen

November 22 at 12:16am

Nice article i totally agreed with your opinion.
Sublime Text Crack

November 14 at 12:13pm

Thanks for sharing, I love it and please keep it up
Malwarebytes Premium Crack

September 28 at 08:30am

Thanx aot for this sharing I like it.
DVDFab Crack
DVDFab Cracked

August 10 at 02:59am

Quite excellent article writing & Now I’m for that reason content to read this. It will be helpful to almost all people the things people employee the whole thing alongside my loved ones. Add-ons follow-up Check Cashing Regards just for excellent knowledge.

June 10 at 12:43pm

read more about the best pools comments post now thanks

December 24 at 11:13pm

Zombie buff, Cubs Fan since childhood, Love to see What Chicago Bulls bring to the table, Avid bacon fanatic, Beer enthusiast. Part time Blogger, Blog almost about anything. A bit of Tech Magnet, You can see more at https://sactivator.com

December 10 at 06:33am

Luchshie zerna, javljajushhiesja poleznymi dlja horoshego pishhevarenija unikal'nyh opisanij sajtov, tekstov ssylok, nazvanij sajtov. Podderzhivajutsja kupit' semena konopli original pomogajushhie vyzdoravlivat' mnogim ljudjam s raznymi zabolevanijami, mnogimi i stranami mira.

November 21 at 07:27am

cheats clash royale
Hinzu kommt, dass, sind Miitomo wöchentlich aktive Benutzer 74% niedriger ist als an ihrer Spitze, im Vergleich zu den 22% für Clash Royale und 32% für Candy Crush Jelly Saga.

June 30 at 04:09am
June 17 at 09:59am

I have been looking at a couple of your stories and i can state really well done. I will bookmark your online journal
Lords Mobile Hack | Dream League Soccer 2016 hack | Score Hero Hack

June 3 at 02:29am

score hero hack

See more information about the game clash royale

Clash royale hack

April 27 at 04:18am

8 Ball Pool Hack
8 Ball Pool Hack Unlimited Credit and Coins -8-ball-pool-hack-boundless credit-coins/| See more about Hacks, Pools and Coins.

April 13 at 11:15pm

That's really cool. I would be interested in seeing more graphs of different information you pull from these logs. http://www.gamezhacktool.com

February 7 at 09:39pm

Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I
find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give one
thing back and aid others such as you aided me.
argent GTA 5 illimité
fifa 16 coin
gtaonline 5 argent

January 8 at 01:51am

its awesome to learn how you guys move in a manner :) Good luck
8 ball pool
android hack cheats

January 5 at 09:11am

good hackswiki

January 2 at 07:56am

Well i am a good post watcher you can say and i don't give a single reason to criticize or to give a good review to a post. i have been reading blogs from last 5 years and this blog is really good this writer has the capabilities to make things going i would love to see new post by you Thanks

Snapchat password Hack | Fifa 16 Hack | Fifa 16 Coin generator | Astuce FIFA 16 | Gratis fifa 16 coins

November 24 at 09:11am

I absolutely am delighted after reading your article. It is really fascinating and you clearly have writing experience. The site may be small but your work is of top quality. how to hack a whatsappblitz brigade hack | cafeland hack

November 12 at 08:49am

connect

receive our updates

Spark Tweets