April 24, 2006
Youth Leadership in Government
Young people are making waves at City Hall:
Policymaking is starting at puberty these days. Berkeley and other cities are drawing teenagers into government in a bid to create politically active -- rather than apathetic -- adults. Although no one tracks the numbers, nine government agencies from San Francisco to Santa Cruz are making room for teenagers on boards and commissions, along with cities across the country.
The phenomenon is called "youth civic engagement,'' and it is being driven in part by celebrity endorsements of political and social causes, moral issue campaigns by religious groups and the growing sophistication of teens who are informing themselves through the Internet.