History of the Milwaukee Youth Council
The Milwaukee Youth Council is a relatively new endeavor. It was first suggested by 2nd District Alderman Joe Davis, Sr.. At the time, Ald. Davis said he came up with the idea after talking at length with young people in the city. "I asked many young people about their thoughts and suggestions on issues such as cruising, and I was struck by their thoughtfulness, intelligence and willingness to provide input," he said. "I quickly realized that young Milwaukeeans have innovative ideas about improving conditions for themselves and their peers, and that their opinions have substance and merit."
"I strongly believe that creating a youth council is a legitimate way of giving our young people a voice in their affairs while also getting them engaged in civic life and, hopefully, sparking their interest in public service," Ald. Davis said.
His idea became Common Council File Number 040220 which was enacted unanimously by the Common Council at its meeting on July 7, 2004. By the time of its passage, the file had 11 co-sponsors, a very high level of support.
The next step for the Youth Council was the naming (by both the Common Council President and the Mayor) of a five-member Selection Committee. For several months, these five people (three adults and two young people) met to establish rules for the conduct of Youth Council meetings and, perhaps most importantly, to establish selection criteria and procedures for the actual members of the Council. This application process was approved by the Common Council on November 23, 2004.
On April 13, 2005, the Youth Council Selection Committee recommended the first 15 members of the City of Milwaukee Youth Council to the Common Council for its consideration and confirmation.
On May 26, 2005, the 15 young people recommended by the Youth Council Selection Committee appeared before the Community and Economic Development Committee. All 15 were unanimously recommended for membership on the City of Milwaukee Youth Council.
On May 3, 2005, the Common Council unanimously approved the first 15 members of the CIty of Milwaukee Youth Council.
On May 9, 2005, the members of the City of Milwaukee Youth Council took their oaths of office in the Common Council chambers at City Hall. The council's first meeting was set for June 8, 2005.
On May 20, 2005, the by-laws of the City of Milwaukee Youth Council were approved by the Common Council.
On September 14, 2005, the City of Milwaukee Youth Council elected its first president, Arlee Vang, and its first vice-president, Andrew Ellis.