DNV Councillor Jordan Back wants to involve local youth in governance with a Youth and Younger Adults Committee that will be open to residents under the age of 40.
At a recent meeting, DNV Council supported Back’s recommendation and asked district staff to prepare a report about the formation and Terms of Reference for a youth and younger adult committee.
The staff has also been directed to explore opportunities to increase participation by younger adults on other committees of Council.
The committee will provide a platform for younger residents to share their ideas and to directly advise Council on issues important to them.
Back brought forward this recommendation because he says younger residents are the future of the community and the decisions Council takes, from climate action to housing or transportation, would have the most direct impact on younger people.
Young people also bring a fresh perspective and innovation to decision making, he adds. His motion was also supported by Capilano University Student Union.
Back brought this idea before Council because he says providing a voice on Council for younger residents is one reason why he ran for Council.
“As a father to two young kids, I am experiencing first-hand the challenges our community has around affordability, and childcare, for example, and I think that perspective is valuable,” Back says.
“I believe younger residents want to get more involved in their communities, but the DNV has not always had the right avenues for them to do that,” he says.
Back says he was also inspired by the work of North Shore Community Resources and CityHive with the North Shore Young Citizens Forum, and one of their ideas was to create a committee like the one he is proposing.
He says he would like to increase participation by younger residents but the existing committees might not always be as inviting to younger people.
“We need to engage youth and younger adults in ways that work for them – through the channels and in the format that is familiar to them and respect the fact that young people are extremely busy,” Back says.