Mills Elected Chair of Framingham Youth Council; Assigns Subcommittees

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By Ashlyn Kelly

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FRAMINGHAM – Chloe Mills, who has served as vice chair of the Framingham Youth Council since its inception, has been elected the new chair of the 13-member Council.

Isabella Petroni, who wrote the legislation to get the Youth Council created, had been its chair since 2019, but resigned on December 31, 2021.

She was elected a Framingham Library Trustee in November and due to the “Steiner rule” has to resign in order to be sworn in as a Library Trustee.

The Youth Council is comprised of 13 young people (one from each of Framingham’s nine districts nominated by the City Council; two nominated by City Councilors at large; and two nominated by the Mayor).

The district Councilors are appointed for one year and the at-large Councilors are appointed for two years.

To be eligible for the Youth Council an individual must live in Framingham and be between the ages of 13-22 years old.

According to the Ordinance passed by the 11-member City Council to create the Youth Council, its and responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating and reviewing issues facing youth in the City
  • Representing youth in the City of Framingham, and advising elected officials and other policy makers regarding matters of interest or concern to young people
  • Providing information to and advocating before public entities including the mayor, municipal government, state government, federal government, police, school districts, and high education institutions, in support of young people in the City of Framingham
  • Providing a structure for all young people in Framingham to learn the value of civic participation and thereby encouraging lifelong participatory residents
  • Offering policy recommendations on issues affecting and of interest to young people
  • Engaging with young people in Framingham to informing them of opportunities and listening to their suggestions regarding how the community can better serve its residents

Mills had also served as Chair of the Youth Council’s Health Subcommittee.

Hamza Rafiki was elected Vice Chair of the Council. he has been a member of the Council since 2019 and lives in District 5. He has been serving as Chair of the Diversity subcommittee of the Youth Council.

As chair of the Youth Council, Mills gets to appoint the subcommittees and name their leadership.

The Framingham Youth Council discussed subcommittee assignments and goals or ideas for the council to work on, during its meeting Feb. 27.

The Youth Council has five standing subcommittees and on ad-hoc subcommittee

Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee.

This subcommittee’s mission is to address the various forms of discrimination that many of our youth in the city face, as well as help promote the amount of diversity that we currently have. They will focus on working with community leaders, youth, the Framingham Public Schools, the Keefe Technical Regional School District, governmental bodies such as the Disability Commission and the Human Relations Commission, and other organizations to make Framingham a safe and equal place for all.

1. Nat Stevens (Chair)

2. Hamza Rifki (Vice-Chair)

3. Maryam Rifki

4. Alex Dailida

5. Gaina Jean-Pierre

Outreach and Youth Engagement Subcommittee:

This subcommittee’s mission is to help promote the idea of the Youth Council to the community, and help increase the amount of youth involved by brainstorming and presenting various opportunities for them to engage in their local government. They will focus on working with the Framingham Public Schools, the Keefe Technical Regional School District, Massachusetts Bay Community College, Framingham State University, the Citizen Participation Officer, and youth nonprofit organizations in order to encourage civic participation by youth throughout Framingham.       

1. Jordan Summerfield (Chair)

2. Maryam Rifki (Vice-Chair)

3. Alex Dailida

4. Mason Garofalo

5. Gaina Jean-Pierre

Health Issues Subcommittee.

This subcommittee’s mission is to work on solutions that are most pressing to the physical and mental wellbeing of Framingham’s youth, and help create plans to deal with issues that youth face such as food inequality, mental health, and suicide prevention. They will work with various governmental leaders, the school districts, nonprofit organizations, and the community to help solve these issues.     

1. Ashwina Bangari (Chair)

2. Ali Jones (Vice-Chair)

3. Chloe Mills

4. Jordan Summerfield

Academic Achievement Subcommittee.

This subcommittee’s mission is to address the inequality present in Framingham’s current educational systems. They will focus on working with the School Committee, Keefe Regional Vocational School Committee, the Superintendents, higher education institutions, educational organizations, various principals and teachers, parents, and students to make education a fairer system and allow the youth to flourish.

1. Ashwina Bangari (Chair)

2. Nat Stevens (Vice-Chair)

3. Hamza Rifki

4. Alex Dailida

5. Mason Garofalo

Sustainability and Environment Subcommittee.

The subcommittee’s mission is to work on engaging youth with the current environmental crisis facing our generation and providing a youth perspective to community leaders on environmental issues such as pollution, energy, recreation and open space, conservation, preservation, and environmental justice. They will focus on working with governmental leaders, the City Council and School Committee Environmental Subcommittees, governmental bodies such as the Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission, nonprofit organizations, and members of the community at large.

1. Maryam Rifki (Chair)

2. Mason Garofalo (Vice-Chair)

3. Jordan Summerfield

4. Nat Stevens

5. Ali Jones

Ad-hoc Subcommittee on Lowering the Voting Age: 

1. Hamza Rifki (Chair)

2. Ashwina Bangari (Vice-Chair)

3. Chloe Mills

4. Ali Jones

5. Gaina Jean-Pierre

editor

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