Today, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, members of the Olivia E. Mitchell Los Angeles City Youth Council, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Executive Director of the LA Youth Development Department Lisa Salazar, and Executive Director of LA Civil Rights Capri Maddox held a press conference to announce youth actions in response to the racist remarks made by a group of Los Angeles City Councilmembers.
They unveiled the following:
- The Youth Council will hold a virtual, city-wide listening session on Thursday, October 27, 2022 to give our young people the space to share their thoughts on how to best move forward;
- A curriculum will be designed for the Youth Council focused on racial and cultural sensitivity to allow members to host their own listening sessions in their respective communities with support from LA Civil Rights and the Youth Development Department; and
- The Youth Council will summarize the results of these efforts and propose recommendations aimed at helping the City heal and recover.
In May of 2021, the Los Angeles City Council approved Councilwoman Rodriguez’s legislation to create the Olivia E. Mitchell Youth Council. The council includes two youth representatives from each council district. The Olivia E. Mitchell Youth Council was modeled after the Youth Advisory Council established by Mayor Tom Bradly in 1974, and helps to guide the next generation of leaders, teaching them how local government can work for them, and how to use their voice in Los Angeles City Hall.
“The Olivia E. Mitchell Youth Council is comprised of young people from a cross-section of our city who are committed to using their voice and activism to lead change,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “I convened them today to announce that we’re beginning listening sessions to engage young people in partnership with the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. While we’re still waiting for two LA City Councilmembers to resign, the time for our City to learn and grow from their transgressions is now. While we lead legislative reforms to assure a more transparent local government, the Youth Council will engage our young people in the hard, but necessary conversations and bridge communities that are often triggered by a false premise: that power is limited. These young people will be the critical agents of change we need in this moment.”
“The LA City Youth Council commits to exploring opportunities to engage with young people city-wide to find solutions and prevent ongoing discrimination in our City of Los Angeles,” said Youth Councilmember Miriam Torres-Sanchez (Council District 1).
“The young people of Los Angeles envision a City that rejoices in cultural diversity,” said Youth Councilmember Luke Gialanella (Council District 11), “We should work to empower one another instead of continuing the legacy of disenfranchisement of communities of color.”
“Los Angeles Unified joins our City’s youth, community members, civic leaders and organizations from across the country in denouncing the recent racist remarks made by local officials,” Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “While this is a disturbing learning moment for our community, we recognize that these racists attitudes persist, and we must continue to work to stamp out the ugliest parts of our history and bias. I applaud our youth leaders for mobilizing so quickly to engage in these listening sessions focused on racial and cultural sensitivity. We stand with you.”
“The LA City Youth Council has shown today, that the future of Los Angeles is bright,” said LA Youth Development Department Executive Director Lisa Salazar, “and that the next generation of leaders is committed to healing the divisions of the past.”
“Los Angeles has a long history of youth-led movements and youth-delivered change,” said LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox. “LA’s Youth Council is standing up to ensure that young voices are heard during this painful and tumultuous period in our city’s history, and LA Civil Rights is proud to support them in this effort.”
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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which includes the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.