§ 2–1561. Definitions.
For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:
(1) “Youth” means an individual who is at least 13 years of age and no older than 22 years of age.
(2) “Youth Council” means the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council established by § 2-1562.
Establishment of the D.C. Youth Investment Collaborative, see Mayor’s Order 2002-44, March 8, 2002 ( 49 DCR 2247).
§ 2–1562. Establishment and purpose.
(a) There is established, as part of the District of Columbia government, a Youth Advisory Council (“Youth Council”).
(b) The Youth Council shall advise the Mayor, the Council of the District of Columbia, District of Columbia Public Schools, public charter schools, other key decision makers in the District government, and adult leaders in the District by:
(1) Commenting on legislation and policies that impact youth;
(2) Presenting methods to resolve conflicts involving youth;
(3) Presenting issues that affect youth and providing recommendations to improve the lives of youth;
(4) Monitoring programs and policies that affect youth to ensure that they are achieving the intended results; and
(5) Working with other youth organizations in the District to:
(A) Provide mutual support;
(B) Collaborate on shared issues and interests;
(C) Advise one another on ways to increase their effectiveness;
(D) Assist in the start-up of new youth organizations, including youth organizations for each ward of the District;
(E) Prepare youth for leadership positions by providing appropriate training; and
(F) Create more youth and adult partnerships.
(c) The Youth Council shall convene a general assembly of youth organizations within the District on a regularly scheduled basis.
This section is referenced in § 2-1561.
§ 2–1563. Composition of the Youth Council.
(a) The Youth Council shall be composed of 32 youth from various geographic sectors of the District, and shall include members who represent youth with special needs, as follows:
(1) Three members shall be from each of the 8 wards in the District;
(2) Four members shall be presently under an order of commitment to the District’s juvenile justice system, at least one of whom presently resides in a group home; and
(3) Four members shall be presently in the District’s foster care system; at least one of whom shall reside in a group home.
(b) Membership of the Youth Council shall reflect a broad range of diversity encompassing relevant differences in ethnicity, location of residency within the District, religion, and gender.
(c) Members of the Youth Council shall have been a District resident for at least one year, not including time residing in a college dormitory, prior to their application to serve on the Youth Council. College students shall be eligible to participate on the Youth Council, if they have been a District resident, living outside a college dormitory, for at least one year prior to their application to serve on the Youth Council.
(d) Youth applying to participate on the Youth Council shall have:
(1) A sincere interest in, and motivation to work for the community;
(2) A background of community-based activity;
(3) A general knowledge of activities and needs in the sector of the community which they are selected to represent;
(4) An ability to bring creative perspectives about youth issues and concerns to the Youth Council;
(5) The ability to work patiently and constructively in a group setting;
(6) The ability to responsibly fulfill commitments; and
(7) An interest in the development of leadership skills.
§ 2–1564. Organizational structure.
(a) After June 25, 2002, the Mayor shall publicly announce and widely disseminate information to District residents that:
(1) Describes the functions and purpose of the Youth Council;
(2) Explains the process of selection and appointment to the Youth Council; and
(3) Solicits applications from youth who desire to serve on the Youth Council.
(b) A selection committee shall be formed by the Youth Advisory Council Taskforce with the approval of the Mayor. The selection committee shall screen, interview, and select the first 32 members of the Youth Council. Following the first year, Youth Council members shall select the next year’s members. The selection committee shall consist of:
(1) Twice as many young people as adults;
(2) Representatives of community based organizations;
(3) Representatives of faith based organizations; and
(4) Representatives of government.
(c) The Youth Council shall select 6 officers to serve leadership positions. In addition, the Youth Council may create other leadership positions as deemed necessary. In its first year of operation, the Chair shall be chosen by the selection committee from among the initial 32 Youth Council members, with the approval of the Mayor. The Chair shall serve for one year. The selection of these 32 members shall be made prior to the Youth Council’s initial retreat. All other officers shall be selected by the Youth Council at their retreat, and shall serve for one year. Thereafter, the Youth Council shall select all officers. The officers shall be as follows:
(2) Vice Chair;
(4) Assistant Secretary;
(5) Treasurer; and
(d) Members of the Youth Council shall be selected to serve a 2-year term. Member shall only serve 2 terms. Youth Council Officers shall be selected to serve a one-year term. Officers may be re-elected, but shall not serve more than 3 terms in any office or combination of offices.
(e) A group of 8 Advisors shall work with the Youth Council and shall provide assistance as needed. Advisors shall not vote on Youth Council business and shall only provide support upon the specific request of the Youth Council. Four of the 8 advisors shall be adults and 4 shall be youth. In the first year after the establishment of the Youth Council, 2 youth and 2 adult advisors shall be selected by the Youth Summit Advisory Board. The remaining 2 youth and 2 adult advisors shall be selected by the Youth Council members. Thereafter, the advisors shall be selected by the Youth Council.
(f) To ensure an orderly transition from veteran outgoing Youth Council members to incoming novice members, terms during the first year shall be staggered as follows: Members of the initial Youth Council shall either serve one, two, or three year terms. Twelve members shall serve a one-year term, 12 members shall serve a 2-year term, and 8 members shall serve a 3-year term. Members who are selected to serve a one-year term, shall sit out at least one year before seeking re-election to the Youth Council. Terms shall be determined following the first year of the Youth Council based on two factors:
(1) Members shall be asked to indicate their preference for leaving the Youth Council or staying for an additional term.
(2) The initial Youth Council members who are willing to serve additional terms shall be graded along a performance based system. During the initial Youth Council retreat, all members shall be asked to agree upon one-year goals for the Youth Council to accomplish. Members shall also create their own one-year goals. Members shall be graded on their performance in accomplishing both sets of goals by the 8 advisors in a manner that is consistent for each Youth Council member.
(g) The Youth Council shall establish standing committees. The Youth Council shall have the discretion to create other standing committees as needed. The 4 committees are:
(3) Finance; and
(h) The first Youth Council shall create the rules and bylaws to which all future Youth Councils shall adhere.
(i) The Youth Council Secretary and Assistant Secretary shall be the official record keepers. They shall be responsible for documenting and archiving all meeting minutes, and other relevant decisions or documents. The Youth Council Treasurer shall record and archive all financial transactions.
(j)(1) Subject to Congressional appropriations, one full-time staff person shall be hired to serve as a Youth Coordinator. The Youth Coordinator shall be:
(A) A staff member of the Office of Neighborhood Action; and
(B) Selected by Neighborhood Action on the basis of the Youth Council’s recommendation.
(2) Youth may be hired to work part-time as needed.
(k) The Youth Coordinator shall assist with all phases of the publicizing, screening, candidate selection and operation of the Youth Council. In addition, some young people may be hired to work part-time for the Youth Council as needed.
(l) The Youth Council Chair shall be responsible for calling meetings to order and for facilitating these meetings. Meetings shall be conducted following parliamentary procedures as described in Robert’s Rules of Order.
(m) Quorum requirements shall be as follows:
(1) Two-thirds of the Youth Council members must be present for a quorum; and
(2) At least one member representing each of the ten groups shall also be present.
(n) Every Youth Council member shall serve on at least one committee. In order to serve as chair of a committee, members shall be in good standing and shall have knowledge of the committee’s subject matter. Committee chairs shall serve for one year. Committee chairs shall be eligible to serve more terms, if selected to do so.
(o) All members shall attend a minimum of 75% of Youth Council meetings. Members shall also attend the minimum number of committee meetings as determined by the committee.
(p) Within 2 years of operation, the Youth Council shall initiate advisory groups or forums within each ward, and for the juvenile justice and foster care communities. These groups shall serve as both a source for future Youth Council members, and as a vehicle for soliciting input from around the District, and a method of sharing information about Youth Council activities.
(q)(1) Beginning one year after its first meeting and every year thereafter, the Youth Council shall publish a report of its activities, recommendations, and accomplishments.
(2) The report shall be distributed to the Mayor, the Council of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Public Schools, public charter schools, and other key District leadership.
(3) Copies of the report shall be placed on the Internet, in each public library, the library of each public and public charter school, and shall be made available upon request to the general public.
(r)(1) Members of the Youth Council shall serve without compensation, except that members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the authorized execution of official Youth Council duties.
(2) The Mayor and his or her designee shall provide administrative support to the Youth Council and may accept resources provided from public or private organizations for the benefit of the Youth Council.