(TRENTON) – A measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace and Thomas P. Giblin asking President Obama to establish a Presidential Youth Council to advise the President and the administration on the perspectives of young people, and ensure that policies enacted to serve the youth are practical and effective was released earlier this week by an Assembly panel.
“We often don’t give our youth enough credit. Young people have unique perspectives that are essential in ensuring that government investments in youth programs and services are effective and efficient,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Being able to hear directly from young people about the issues affecting them and what programs are working or not working would help make our government more effective and encourage more youth participation in the political process.”
“Young people often feel that their voices go unheard. Here is an opportunity to show them we value their input,” said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). “Policy decisions made today will have a pronounced impact on future generations. If we want to create policy that will have a real impact and make a difference in the lives of young people, then we must get them involved in the process.”
The United States Congress is currently considering House Joint Resolution No. 47, which supports the establishment of a Presidential Youth Council to advise the President and the administration on the perspectives of young people, make youth programs more efficient and effective, and address issues that will affect the long-term future of the nation. The Presidential Youth Council would be composed of youth who are 16 to 24 years of age, have backgrounds reflective of our nation’s diversity, and can constructively contribute to policy deliberations.
The resolution (AR-126) respectfully urges the President to establish such a council.
According to the resolution, young Americans under the age of 25 comprise over one third of the country’s population, yet youth are underrepresented in the policymaking process. Although youth participation and engagement are important safeguards of democracy, a majority of young Americans do not believe they have a substantive voice in their government. This would provide young citizens with an opportunity to share their views at the highest levels of government, and ensure that policies that will affect youth are developed with their valuable input and perspectives.
The resolution was released by the Assembly Education Committee on June 20.