Sunrise Begins Youth Advisory Council to the Offices of State Rep. Liz Fiedler + State Sen. Nikil Saval
We are excited to announce the kick-off of the Sunrise Youth Advisory Project - a new partnership between Sunrise students and the offices of State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler and State Senator Nikil Saval!
Starting in May 2021, students involved in Sunrise’s Youth Advisory Council will meet monthly with Senator Saval, Representative Fiedler and members of their offices in an effort to promote youth voice in state and local government.
At each meeting, students will be encouraged to voice their thoughts, concerns, feelings and ideas around city-wide issues affecting youth in Philadelphia and across the state of PA. In addition, students will be encouraged to discuss current lawmaking efforts and events in Harrisburg, and discuss various bills, laws, and policy changes directly with our city and state lawmakers. Sessions are designed to expose students to general political participation through direct interaction with the state legislature, while also connecting them to valuable learning opportunities and platforms for career exposure.
Over the course of the project, students will be encouraged to raise questions and share ideas about current policy, participate in special service projects and civic engagement opportunities, and directly work with Sen. Saval and Rep. Fielder to amplify youth voices and advocate for the issues that are important to youth across the city and state.
On May 19, 2021, Sunrise held the first meeting of The Youth Advisory Council Project. Sunrise students and staff were excited to welcome Representative Fiedler and Senator Saval to the first meeting. It began with introductions from Representative Fiedler, Senator Saval, and members of the student council - students were asked to introduce themselves and share a few of the preliminary political issues that mattered to them.
Over the course of the meeting, students identified prominent issues and discussed ways Sunrise and legislative offices could work together to advocate for and promote important youth issues. Some issues that students identified as points of interest moving forward included homelessness, poverty, college affordability, gun violence, immigration, climate change, and the importance of continued funding for OST programs around the city.
Further discussions will explore the logistics of politics within the state government and ways the council members can tangibly work to better share the youth perspective on these vital issues!
Through the Youth Council, Sunrise looks forward to finding new ways to advocate for important issues, ensuring that youth voices and youth issues are considered within local government. At the next meeting in June, the Youth Council will discuss active bills currently sponsored by Rep. Fielder and Sen Saval on the House and Senate floor, with a focus on sharing youth experiences, especially around gun violence, homelessness and social issues within Philadelphia.
Sunrise looks forward to continuing to grow this partnership! Thank you to the offices of Rep. Fielder and Sen. Saval for showing such a commitment to the youth voice within the city.