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Becker to present campaign idea to City Council


Will propose a Youth Council at September 7th meeting

During his campaign for City Commissioner, Kyle Becker referenced the idea of forming a Youth Council to promote the development of Apopka’s future leaders, and at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Becker plans to take the next step in making that idea a reality.

Becker will make a presentation on the implementation of an Apopka Youth Council after sending a letter to City Administrator Glenn Irby (addressed to Mayor Joe Kilsheimer and the City Commissioners) in advance and requesting it be put on the agenda for the September 7th meeting.

Commissioner Kyle Becker will propose a plan to create a Youth Council for Apopka. Commissioner Kyle Becker will propose a plan to create a Youth Council for Apopka.

In the letter, Becker wrote:

“It is my desire to establish a Youth Council to help foster the development of our next generation of community leaders through active civic engagement and service learning.”

Becker said he started researching the idea after the election, and then came across the Florida League of Cities (FLOC) framework document. At the FLOC Conference held in August, he also met with several people with active youth councils in their municipalities. This gave Becker enough data to create the presentation that he hopes will be embraced by the City Council.

According to that FLOC document, a Youth Council is an advisory body composed of local youth (usually high school aged), that will advise and counsel the local governing body and its affiliated advisory and regulatory boards, as well as other community organizations on youth-related subjects and issues. Additionally, youth councils can implement and participate in a variety of youth-identified community initiatives.

According to the Census Bureau, 24.6 percent of the U.S. population is under the age of 18. Becker believes that the youth of Apopka, representing almost one fourth of the population, should have a voice rather than rely on adults to speak for them.

"We have heard from many residents who speak on behalf of our youth," Becker said. "However we have very capable and talented young people in our community in which a direct line of communication to our staff, leadership, and community partners would be mutually beneficial.”

Becker hopes the Youth Council would not only advise and consent, but also initiate youth involvement in programs to benefit the community…something Becker has experience doing as a youth and young adult.

“The idea of civic engagement and service learning for me personally started when I was in the Boy Scouts as a youth and carried on to my civic arts curriculum in college. At Tusculum College, we had a program called Service Learning Immersion, where for four weeks we spent our time working with various organizations helping those in need in Johnson City, TN. These organizations served veterans, the homeless, and jobless, both young and old. Through serving those in our community we become better citizens, and it allows us to see how policies and practices of our local governments can directly impact the lives of our residents, especially those in need.”

In the proposal, Becker recommends a council of 25 members in grades 9-11 from Apopka, Sheeler and Wekiva High Schools, or Home School students who reside in the Apopka City Limits.


Apopka City Council, Kyle Becker, Youth Council


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