FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham City Council unanimously voted to create a Youth Council in 2019.
The 13-member Youth Council was created after then Framingham High senior Isabella Petroni wrote an ordinance asking the legislative branch of the City to change the Charter to create a committee focused on the city’s youthssimilar to the Council on Aging which is focused on the City’s senior citizens.
The Youth Council is comprised of four at-large youths — two appointed by the at-large City Councilors and two by the Mayor for 2-year terms — and nine district Youth Councilors, appointed by their district counterpart on the City Council for a 1-year term.
The Youth Council created its own rules in its first session, and learned about how the city operates, inviting the Mayor, the Framingham Public School Superintendent, the School Committee Chair, and several City Councilors to its meetings.
The Youth Council meets typically on Sundays twice a month, and has five subcommittees.
The Council this session has proposed ordinances on voting age and menustral products, taken positions on several issues including gun violence, Belknap pool, and focused on mental health, school re-opening plans, and social justice issues.
The Council has also held sessions with State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, Rep. Maria Robinson, Keefe Tech Superintendent Jonathan Evans and Framingham Superintendent Bob Tremblay this second session.
As the Youth Council has not been able to hold its planned youth summit yet or conduct outreach & engagement in-person, SOURCE asked each Youth Councilor to participate in a Q&A to introduce them to the community. The Q&A sessions will publish this month.
The City Council will be taking applications for the third session of the Youth Council later this spring with appointments to start on July 1, 2021 and to end on June 30, 2022. Framingham youths from middle school, high school, and college, ages 13-22 can apply.
District 2 Youth Councilor Annabel Francis
School: Framingham High
Favorite subject in school: History
Favorite book: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Favorite musical artists: Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift
Last thing you streamed: Avatar the Last Airbender Season 3 Episode 8, “The Puppetmaster”
Favorite fun activity: Walking with friends or getting creative
ZOOM happy or ZOOM fatigued? fatigued
Hobbies: Art, art is a big one, I do love to cook (not super at it), and crafting/making stuff
Favorite place in Framingham: Rivers edge greenhouse!
10 years from now I want to be (career): An art teacher, or president of the world. whichever comes first
Why did you want to be a Youth Council member? To help bring youth voices into government! kids know what they’re doing too (excuse me, young adults).
Do you think there is a divide in the City of Framingham? If yes, how can it be fixed? If no, why not? No. Framingham is a wonderful and accepting place. Massachusetts as a whole, yes, but Framingham has such positive energy radiating from it and it’s people!!
The 13-member Framingham Youth Council represents middle school, high school, and college-age students. What is the biggest issue facing youth in Framingham in 2021? I would say Mental Health, judging from my own experience, zoom school is stressful! and staring at a screen doesn’t help that at all.
How can the Youth Council encourage more youths ages 13-22 to become engaged in government and their community? This might be a little cliche, but a lot of the youth i know are all about social media. we might be able to draw more attention using it!
What person has inspired you the most? How? I’d have to go with my mom, she has no problem speaking up for what’s right and taking action!
Adults just don’t understand: how to use technology. my grandfather once used the term “Google it up” instead of “Google it” and we will forever hold it against him.
If money was not an issue, what would make life better for the youths in the city? Some sort of sanctuary just for kids to hangout and have fun and stay at when they needed to get away or just to talk to someone!
Describe Framingham in 3 words: Peaceful, Accepting, And green. We have a lot of green. Heck we even have a “town green.”
Framingham is missing Peace flags on all buildings. Or at least most of them would be really cool
It would be great if Michelle Obama would attend a Youth Council meeting to discuss … I feel like she’s a very educated women and has a powerful voice in a lot of peoples eyes!
What have you learned as a member of the Youth Council? How to “government.” I walked in my first meeting without the slightest clue how anything worked.
What do you want to accomplish on the Youth Council before you leave? Hope that one of our ideas is able to help someone and make them smile!