The first Youth Town Hall was held in 2002 and brought over 200 young people together to voice their opinions on issues that affected them. The results of this meeting were clear: City government needed to connect with and involve Seattle's young people in its decision-making process. The Mayor's Youth Council was born out of this desire to bring youth into City government in a more meaningful way.

For each program year from 2002 to 2010, Youth Council members hosted community gatherings and town halls throughout Seattle to reach out to Seattle's youth and empower teenagers. These community forums led to the development of policy recommendations on issues pertaining to youth, which were presented to the Mayor later in the year.

In 2010 the Mayor's Youth Council became the Seattle Youth Commission (SYC). The new Commission structure allows the Youth Commission to interact more directly with all of the elected officials in the city - the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Attorney - to ensure that the voices of young people are heard. Commissioners are jointly appointed by the Mayor and City Council in June of each year following an extensive interview process.