My experience at the Mayor’s Youth Council was an interesting one. As a group, we focused on homelessness in Los Angeles. I was surprised to find out that there is a large number of homeless youth and some might even go to my school and other schools in my area. The council met once a month for six months. We had many guest speakers that talked about where they work and what they do. One of my favorites was 6th District Councilwoman Nury Martinez. She talked about her childhood in the San Fernando Valley and about large manufacturers, such as Price Pfister and Black & Decker coming into her neighborhood, polluting the air and the environment in her community. Her community fought back against these manufacturers and forced them out of their homes. It was a really interesting story and at the end of that particular meeting, we got pizza, which was cool.
Another activity from the Mayor’s Youth Council was the Service Project. The Service Project is an activity that each of us had to do individually, or as groups. It is different each year and this year we had to talk to two groups about homelessness, whether it be family, school, or a club. This was cool because many people, especially youth, don’t know about the homeless crisis we have right now and it felt good to inform them and enlighten them on what is going on.
When the Mayor’s Youth Council came to an end, we had a culmination at the one and only Los Angeles City Hall. It is a really nice place. As a group, we explored the council chambers. The building is really nice and the paintings and drawings on the walls are really something. Overall, it was an enlightening experience. I would suggest it to anyone interested in politics or government. It is a really interesting experience and people can learn a lot from it. The people that run the council are nice as well so that’s a bonus. You can check it out here.
Landis is a teen volunteer at the Porter Ranch Branch. Besides being in the marching band, he is also a member of the water polo team. In the winter season, he plays rugby for the San Fernando Rugby Club.
—Michael Baradi, Young Adult Librarian, Porter Ranch Branch Library