Councilmember O’Brien is working to foster civic leadership throughout the city, particularly with communities that have been historically underrepresented in public leadership. He is a firm believer in diversity within the leadership paradigm and advocates for a range of perspectives to be represented in all levels of leadership across the city. This could include leadership in school government, school organizations, sports teams, nonprofits, city government, etc.
In order to support this diversity, he has committed to meeting with groups of youth from a range of backgrounds, to talk to them about their needs and passions. For example, in the first quarter of 2011 Councilmember O'Brien met with University of Washington's Office of Minority Affairs (UW OMA) and Diversity Student Advisory Board to engage in and discuss ongoing issues pertaining to the diverse community on the University of Washington campus. The students were interested in how one navigates the electoral process, the budget process, current issues at the city, and how they could themselves engage in influencing the decisions of Councilmembers.
In addition, Councilmember O'Brien strives to provide information to the students about internship and job opportunities with the city and with organizations throughout the city – in particular, he advocates for leadership in the fields of environmental career pathways and green jobs.
Councilmember O'Brien anticipates bringing all of these youth together in 2012-2013 for a half-day retreat so that they can continue developing leadership skills and build relationships with each other.
If you would like Councilmember O'Brien to come speak to a group of young people or to receive more information, please contact Sahar Fathi at Sahar.Fathi@seattle.gov or 206-684-8800.