The ordinance proposed a Framingham Youth Council, that would reflect the social-economic and diversity of the city’s districts.
Petroni said the City’s youth, ages 13-22, should have a say in their government.
Petroni’s vision for a Youth Council would include a member from every district plus at large members appointed by the City Council and the Mayor.
Weeks later, with some vetting and tweaking, the City Council unanimously approved the ordinance. And then the Mayor held a public ceremony, with Petroni, to sign the ordinance into law.
Earlier this month, the 11-member City Council voted to approve the 13 members of the first-ever City of Framingham Youth Council. District members will serve a 1-year term. At-large members will serve a 2-year term.
There were more applicants for the Framingham Youth Council than any other board, committee, or commission since Framingham became a City in 2018.
“Congrats to Iisabella Petroni, who came to us with the idea, and pursued it though entire legislative process,” said City Councilor Cheryl Tuly Stoll, who added she was impressed by the number of applicants for the Council.
“Isabella’s success in establishing a Youth Council is one of the most positive things our City Council has done,” said District 8 City Councilor Judith Grove.
Last night, members of the City’s first-ever Youth Council were sworn into office and held their first meeting – a joint meeting with the City Council’s subcommittee on education.
District 4 City Councilor Michael Cannon said the new Youth Council looked like the City’s diversity, geography, and socio-economic status like no other board or committee in the City.
He reminded the Youth Councilors on the community’s 319th birthday (Framingham was incorporated today in 1700) that they were meeting in the Memorial Building and not Framingham City Hall, and for them to check out the entrance way of the building, marking those who died to support Framingham’s and the country’s freedoms.
Cannon told the 11 youths in attendance that the Memorial Building was dedicated on February 26 1928, and that six surviving Veteran of the Civil war were in attendance for the dedication.
Framingham Youth Council members sworn in were:
District 1 Jordan Summerfield
District 2 Alana Gordon
District 3 Mira Donaldson
District 4 Ashwina Bangari
District 5 Hamza Rifki
District 6 Alison Jones (sworn in earlier, not in attendance last night)
District 7 Neha Senthil
District 8 Ruby Martinez
District 9 Julian Orellana-Vega
Cheryl Tully Stoll’s At-Large appointment Isabella Petroni (District 8)
George King’s At-Large appointment Chloe Mills (District 5).
Mayor Spicer’s two appointments are Avi Padayachee (District 1, but not in attendance last night) and Gabryela Soares Mota (District 9)
During last night’s hour long first meeting, members of the education subcomittee talked to the youth council members about the open meeting law, and rules for which they must abide to when they meet.
The next meeting will be in July, when they will elect a chair and a vice chair for the Framingham Youth Council.
During the City Council’s meeting at 7:15 p.m, District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner, who chairs the education subcommittee, and will be an advisor to the Youth Council introduced the Youth Council and spoke about the first meeting.
“What an amazing group of students. We just had our first meeting, and we talked about difficult issues,” said Steiner, who said these young people were posied and speaking their minds. “I would have been scared to do that, at that age. Parents should be commended. Makes me proud.”
Steiner also thanked Petroni for developing the idea on her own, pursuing the city legislation to create it, and then seeing it through the entire process, including being sworn in tonight.
Editor’s note: In full transparency, Petroni is my daughter.