Auburn Junior Council to tackle youth-related issues

City leaders have formed something entirely new to Auburn – a council of young people to keep the City’s elected leaders up to date on issues that matter to youth.

The Auburn City Council made it official recently with the creation of the Auburn Junior Council.

Comprised of nine young people, one from each high school and middle school in the Auburn School District, the kids will sink their incisors into youth-related issues, for example gang violence and curfew, and relay their thoughts to the Auburn City Council.

“I am looking forward for them to be on board, to having the opportunity to learn from them and hopefully they will have the opportunity to learn from us as well,” said Auburn City Councilwoman Nancy Backus.

What Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis saw of similar junior youth councils last winter on his yearly trip to the National Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C., inspired him to explore the benefits of getting one up and going here.

“This started out with conversations with our school superintendent, and I think it’s something that’s long overdue,” said Lewis. “It’s going to add to this body as well.”

Councilman Bill Peloza suggested early on that a junior council could provide quite the civics lessons to kids.

“I think that this runs into a trend in local government, it’s a dead ringer for it,” Peloza said. “High schools really lack, in my opinion, structure. We’re talking about kids coming into local government, understanding local government and what it does, what do council members do, what do mayors do.”


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