The Los Angeles City Council moved forward Wednesday with a plan to form a task force that would be charged with formulating a citywide youth development strategy.
On a 12-0 vote, the council directed city staff to report back on options for creating the Executive Task Force on Youth Development, along with a comprehensive analysis of all the funding and programmatic ways the city supports youth.
The creation of a task force is supported by the Invest in Youth Coalition, which includes Legacy LA, LA Voice and the East Los Angeles Women’s Shelter. The coalition argues that other cities, including New York, San Francisco and Boston, have prioritized youth investment through the establishment of a youth development department which centralizes funding, but Los Angeles spreads resources across 26 different departments without an organized strategy.
A group of Invest in Youth Coalition members spoke at the meeting before the vote, and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez credited them with helping get support for the task force.
“Too often our youth do not have a seat at the table when it comes to conversations around what kinds of programming opportunities that we are doing,” said Rodriguez, who co-introduced the motion calling for the task force. “Often times, you are the victims of decisions that are being made on your behalf. This is an opportunity in the city of Los Angeles for you to help lead that conversation. I want to thank you for exhibiting the leadership and being the partners with us.”