Galesburg reorganizes the youth commission |

For more than a decade, the band consisted of only adults, but now it’s mostly children.

GALESBURG, Ill. – Galesburg looks to its young people to help solve the problems facing the community.

The City has reorganized its youth commission after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

“I can help spread my ideas,” said member Precious Dortch.

The band used to be all adults for over a decade, but now it’s mostly kids. All students are under 18 years old.

“Galesburg has a lot of potential and not everyone knows it,” said Joy Basosa Nzumba.

“I think it’s a chance to grow the community and help the community,” said member Zakary Warfield.

Commission members discuss all types of city-related businesses, such as community development.

“These are lessons they’re going to learn today, they’re learning and growing, but it’s going to help them down the road,” Galesburg Parks and Recreation Director Tony Oligney-Estill said.

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Group members meet once a month and then share their ideas with city leaders.

“You can be a catalyst for your generation to say something positive and, more importantly, do something positive,” resident Anthony Law said.

Board students will also be in the community for projects such as cleaning up parks and organizing city-wide activities.

“They’re like ambassadors for the city,” Mayor Peter Schwartzman said. “Most of the students in this town don’t know who their councilors are, or the mayor.”

Seven students serve on the 11-member commission.

“Galesburg has changed with a lot of downsizing so I want to talk about that,” said member Eciel Calan Borns.

The mayor of Galesburg recommends that students serve on the commission.

“There are a lot of issues that we don’t even think about as adults, that kids notice,” Schwartzman said.

“You hear that in every community, ‘there’s not much to do for young people,'” Oligney-Estill said.

Student members are not old enough to vote on city business, but they regularly attend Galesburg City Council meetings to give updates to aldermen.

Each student receives a monthly stipend of $30 for their service.

Schwartzman said the Youth Commission has been around for more than a decade.

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