The establishment of a new youth advisory commission has been has signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom
AB 46, authored by Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley), establishes the California Youth Empowerment Commission, designed to empower underrepresented youth with civic engagement opportunities throughout California’s legislative process.
“California is yet again leading the nation by creating a pathway to civic engagement between our young leaders and their government so that they can provide critical input on the policies affecting the future of our great state,” Rivas said, adding the legislation “recognizes” an opportunity for youth to offer their perspectives and solutions “to the issues affecting our state.”
“Millennials and Generation Z have mobilized as key activists in public policy, social accountability, and protecting our planet for future generations. With AB 46’s signing, California provides an important mechanism for our youth to incorporate their unique and innovative solutions to the issues affecting our state,” the Assemblywoman said.
Currently, there are over 130 active local youth commissions throughout California that advise local governments on public policy, but there is no statewide commission tasked with serving the millions of Californians under the age of 24.
The California Youth Empowerment Commission offers an opportunity for the civic engagement of the state’s younger generations to provide their valuable public policy recommendations.
The commission will consist of thirteen individuals from across the state, between the ages of 14-25. AB 46 mandates that at least half of the commissioners must have experienced youth homelessness, foster care, juvenile incarceration, or have special needs.
This bill seeks to prioritize representation on the Commission from traditionally underserved youth and provide an equitable platform for our state’s younger generations.
Among the commission’s duties are policy research, participation in roundtable discussions with other youth advocates and the public, and developing grant programs designed to rectify the blatant inequities affecting young Californians.
“California is elevating, activating, and empowering young leaders in this historic time,” said Jevon Wilkes, executive director of the California Coalition for Youth. “Our young leaders have been marching and advocating for better futures and through our Governor signing AB 46 into law our futures can all become more secure and bright.”
AB 46 is sponsored by the California Coalition for Youth, the California Youth Connection, the Alliance of Boys and Men of Color, the California Association of Student Councils, Mi Familia Vota, and the San Francisco Youth Commission.