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Update | Sacramento Youth Advisory position green lit for City Council

Young advocates and leaders serving on the Sacramento Youth Commission want city officials to have greater access to them, and thus create more youth input.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tuesday Update:

The proposal to create a youth advisory position on the Sacramento City Council passed in a 5-3 vote.

Original story:

Sacramento city officials are voting Tuesday on whether to enlist a youth liaison to join the council as an advisor who would represent the Sacramento Youth Commission.

It's a proposal long championed by City Councilmembers Jay Schenirer and Mai Vang, and both city officials urged colleagues to welcome a youth liaison Monday.

"The council, over the last number of years, has spent a lot of time adding infrastructure to support our young people," said Schenirer. "(We met) jointly with the city Youth Commission to decide how to spend some of our ARPA dollars and other federal dollars, where the council actually took their recommendations, particularly around mental health for young people."

Sacramento Youth Commission vice president Patrick Leo Hsu told ABC10 mental health and wellness treatment for young people has been at the top of his mind since joining in 2021.

He was part of the youth team working with Sac Kids First to rally in support of Measure L — which passed in November and is set to generate about $10 million annually for youth mental health services and support.

Now, Hsu says these same young people are ready to have a seat at the City Council, even in a non-voting role, to ensure they have the chance to participate in council meeting discussions.

"Youth are such a large portion of the (Sacramento) population, like 30%," said Hsu. "It's really important to have someone who's going to be advocating for those people and their needs."

A Youth Liaison position would be created as an advisory role for someone between the ages of 18 and 24, if passed by a majority vote at the City Council Tuesday.

The chosen liaison would have a seat on the council dais and must report to the Sacramento Youth Commission, however liaisons cannot be present for closed-session City Council meetings.

"Once we get that seat, and people can see the efficacy of it, we can garner more support and then hopefully continue to integrate younger youth into the process," said Hsu.

WATCH MORE: Midterms 2022: Sacramento Mayor talks about Measure O and L | To The Point

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