Engaging Youth in Local Government: Lessons from the Boston Region
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There is widespread consensus that young people have a right to be directly involved in decisions that affect them, and an understanding that adults are the ones who must create formal pathways of engagement. Yet there remains limited empirical information about the best ways to do so. This paper identifies key lessons gleaned from a multi-method study of twenty-four operating municipal youth councils throughout the greater Boston region. The insight assembled here is based on interviews with youth and adult stakeholders, observations of council meetings, a review of council documents, as well as a review of relevant academic literature. It is intended to guide practitioners in developing or reforming local youth councils.
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