2019 -2020 Youth Commissioners after their Swearing-In Ceremony with President Norman Yee and other members of the Board of Supervisors Mar, Walton, Safai, Lee-Fewer, and Mandelman.
Keeping in Touch
In 1995, community members lobbied City Hall to develop a resolution that would create a Youth Commission. Then-Supervisor Angela Alioto sponsored a Charter Amendment that put the question of whether or not to create the Youth Commission to the voters of San Francisco. In turn, Proposition F won 60% vote on the November 1995 ballot, and the Youth Commission was created! The first class of Youth Commissioners were sworn in to office in April of 1996.
Purpose and Duties
The Youth Commission is responsible, under SEC 4.124 of the City Charter, for advising the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor on "the effects of legislative policies, needs, assessments, priorities, programs, and budgets concerning the children and youth of San Francisco."
The Youth Commission also has the duty to provide the Board and the Mayor with "comment and recommendation" on all proposed laws "that primarily affect the children and youth" of San Francisco.
In particular, the Youth Commission is charged with "identifying the unmet needs" of San Francisco's children and youth through a variety methods. These include researching existing government and private programs and sources of funding for such programming, holding public forums and cooperating with existing advocacy organizations.
Following the Charter, each year the Youth Commission provides the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor with the following:
comments and recommendations on pieces of proposed legislation that would affect San Francisco's young people;
resolutions that formally articulate the Youth Commission's positions on various youth-related issues; and
a set of policy priorities to guide the City's annual budget process as it relates to young people.
A chronology of the official proceedings of the 2016-2017 Youth Commission can be found here.
The City Charter dictates that there be 17 Youth Commissioners, each of whom serve a 1-year term (historically, this term begins in August of each year). Each member of the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor appoint one Youth Commissioner; the Mayor is also charged with appointing 5 "members from underrepresented communities to ensure that the Commission represents the diversity of the City." Commissioners must be between the ages of 12 and 23 and reside in the City & County of San Francisco.
Each year, the Youth Commission staff produces an application and conducts an interview process for people who are interested in joining the Youth Commission. Ultimately, of course, each Supervisor and the Mayor have the final say on whom they appoint to the Commission.
If you are interested in serving on the Youth Commission, please contact your district Supervisor, the Mayor or Youth Commission staff, Kiely Hosmon (firstname.lastname@example.org). More information can also be found here.