Creating a City Youth Council

In August 2008, Wellington Vice Mayor Carmine Priore was sworn in as president of the Florida League of Cities. In his first speech as president, he spoke about how students are receiving little or no civic education instruction in the classroom and cited surveys and studies showing that a large percentage of high school students know little about their governments. He made it his presidential priority to promote civic education and encouraged cities to create youth councils to educate this younger generation.

While many of Florida’s cities already have youth councils, we wanted to create a document that would serve as a “road map” for others wanting to start similar programs. These special citywide councils are composed of students from different high schools within the city and serve as an advisory board to the city commission/council. These students are the leaders of tomorrow and it is important to expose them to municipal government at an early age. We hope that your city will consider forming a youth council. In addition, the Florida League of Cities holds a Youth Council Program event every year at its annual conference. Information is posted online and in print in advance.

The Florida League of Cities would like to thank the North Carolina Civic Education Consortium for providing a template for this document. Additionally, the League would like to thank the following Florida governments for providing information on their youth councils: Dade City, West Palm Beach and Destin; and also Greene County, N.C.
Third Annual Municipal Youth Council Video Competition Winners
The Florida League of Cities has announced the winners of the Third Annual Municipal Youth Council Video Competition. The goal of the program is to provide a way for Florida’s youth councils to showcase their ideas, creativity and commitment to their community.The 2014 youth council video competition asks youth councils to look at their own community and think about key issues affecting young citizens. 
Key elements for entries included: 1) ways that young people or youth organizations can be part of the solution; 2) how local government, businesses, civic and religious organizations, the chamber of commerce, community groups and other citizens can work together to resolve the issue and 3) a narrative action plan for resolution of the issue that provides a timetable and budget, if one is necessary.
Entries were evaluated on a number of criteria, including the presentation and evaluation of the competition’s theme, an effective/creative action plan and video, and adherence to the competition’s criteria.
The first, second and third place winning videos are featured below.
Click here to view the winning videos from the Second Annual Municipal Youth Council Video Competition, "Your City...2113." The 2013 awards program focused on videos designed to celebrate a city’s history and, more importantly, its future. In commemoration of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival to Florida in 1513, the second annual youth video competition was designed to complement the League’s program themed, “History Happened Here: A Celebration of the Great History of Florida Cities.”