2008-2009 Issues

Environment

Issue: Bring Climate Action Now into the hands of Seattle's youth

Summary: Although the Climate Action Now campaign has achieved success, its ideas and principals have yet to reach our city’s next generation, our youth. We propose two actions. First, we propose creating a section of C.A.N.'s website devoted to instructions and materials to help students in Seattle schools take action in their schools. Second, we propose the creation of a special grant, based on the Department of Neighborhoods' Small Sparks grant, specifically for students who want to make the seven changes in their schools.

Tracking: This proposal was funded by City Council in late 2009. Department of Neighborhoods is currently in the process of implementing this policy.

Teen Arts

Issue: Promote existing teen art opportunities through a teen art event to the diverse youth of Seattle

Summary: There are currently a number of art opportunities available to Seattle’s youth. However, many of these opportunities are inaccessible to youth, due to lack of promotion and knowledge of their existence. To broaden the exposure of these existing programs, we propose that Seattle hosts an annual Increase the Peace through TEEN ARTS Day on the last Thursday of June, where existing teen art programs have an opportunity to promote their work.

Tracking: This proposal became the foundation for the Art4Justice project, which was funded by Neighborhood Matching Fund in January of 2010.

Teen Homelessness

Issue: Provide information on needed drop-in mental health counselor for Seattle’s homeless youth population

Summary: Homelessness is a grim reality facing thousands of Seattle youth today. Mental health issues are a huge factor in creating and exacerbating the issue of youth homelessness. Many homeless youth have severe mental health problems that remain unaddressed due to a lack of easily accessible mental health services. Youth with these mental health issues are much less likely to seek help or be able to take care of themselves and find housing.

Our proposal to implement a drop-in mental health counselor for Seattle’s homeless youth population is intended to provide some necessary mental health services to at-risk youth.

Tracking: The research done by the 2008-09 Policy group has contributed to a stronger 2009-10 Teen Homelessness Policy Proposal.

Youth Violence

Issue: Provide overview of existing teen advisory council practices, issues, opportunities, and recommendations for change.

Summary: Teen Advisory Councils currently in place at in community centers around the city are ineffective and do not reach the majority of the youth who may be interested. TACs could be utilized as way of engaging the youth and steering them away from the violent community.

Tracking: In response to this proposal, the Parks Dept. has re-prioritized their Strategic Action Plan to place more importance on the maintenance of Teen Advisory Councils.

Youth-Police Relations

Issue: Fund and create a youth advisory board responsible for the development of a mandatory Youth Training Curriculum in order to improve the relationship between police officers and young people.

Summary: Seattle’s youth has voiced that they distrust the police and believe that they are discriminated against based on age. To better the relationship, there must be effective communication on both sides. In a step towards this, a youth advisory board needs to be created as soon as possible so that they can create a youth training curriculum and teach law enforcement officers about youth competency skills.

Tracking: The research done by the 2008-09 Policy group has contributed to a stronger 2009-10 Youth Police Policy Proposal.