Photo courtesy of Larry Wong:www.lwong.net
In 1995, community members lobbied City Hall to develop a resolution that would create a Youth Commission. However, this piece of legislation failed at the Board of Supervisors!
Then-Supervisor Angela Alioto subsequently sponsored a Charter Amendment that put the question of whether or not to create the Youth Commission to the voters of San Francisco. In turn, Proposition F won 60% vote on the November 1995 ballot, and the Youth Commission was created! The first class of Youth Commissioners were sworn in to office in April of 1996.
Purpose and Duties
The Youth Commission is responsible, under SEC 4.124 of the City Charter, for advising the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor on "the effects of legislative policies, needs, assessments, priorities, programs, and budgets concerning the children and youth of San Francisco."
The Youth Commission also has the duty to provide the Board and the Mayor with "comment and recommendation" on all proposed laws "that primarily affect the children and youth" of San Francisco.
In particular, the Youth Commission is charged with "identifying the unmet needs" of San Francisco's children and youth through a variety methods. These include researching existing government and private programs and sources of funding for such programming, holding public forums and cooperating with existing advocacy organizations.
Following the Charter, each year the Youth Commission provides the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor with the following:
comments and recommendations on pieces of proposed legislation that would affect San Francisco's young people;
resolutions that formally articulate the Youth Commission's positions on various youth-related issues; and
a set of policy priorities to guide the City's annual budget process as it relates to young people.
A chronology of the official proceedings of the 2012-2013 Youth Commission can be found here.
The City Charter dictates that there be 17 Youth Commissioners, each of whom serve a 1-year term (historically, this term begins in August of each year). Each member of the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor appoint one Youth Commissioner; the Mayor is also charged with appointing 5 "members from underrepresented communities to ensure that the Commission represents the diversity of the City." Commissioners must be between the ages of 12 and 23 and reside in the City & County of San Francisco.
Each year, the Youth Commission staff produces an application and conducts an interview process for people who are interested in joining the Youth Commission. Ultimately, of course, each Supervisor and the Mayor have the final say on whom they appoint to the Commission.
If you are interested in serving on the Youth Commission, please contact your district Supervisor, the Mayor or Youth Commission staff, Adele Carpenter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2013-2014 Youth Commissioners
On September 9, 2013, in hearing room 416 at San Francisco City Hall, Mayor Edwin M. Lee administered the Oath of Office to each member of the Youth Commission. The swearing in ceremony was attended by friends, family, community advocates, our partners from community-based organizations, members of city departments, and members of the Board of Supervisors.
Click on the names below to learn a bit more about each commissioner.
Nicholas Persky, Chair
Michelle Kong, Vice Chair
Joshua Cardenas, Legislative Affairs Officer
DeAsia Landrum, Communications and Outreach Officer
Angel Van Stark, Media and Public Relations Officer
Youth Commission Staff
Phimy Truong, Director
Adele Carpenter, Coordinator of Youth Development and Administration
Allen Lu, Coordinator of Community Outreach and Civic Engagement