With COVID restrictions ending, Framingham Youth Council is setting goals to hold a youth summit and find solutions to Keefe Tech pool closure and high school parking

By Ashlyn Kelly

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FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Youth Council discussed subcommittee assignments and goals or ideas for the board to work on, at its Feb. 27 meeting.

The first goal mentioned by Chloe Mills, President of the Youth Council, was to continue the work of creating a Youth Summit.

Mills said the original plan was “unnecessarily complicated” but the Council would “rework” it to “make it as useful as possible for everyone”.

“We were hoping to welcome a lot of young people to Framingham and have everyone share all their ideas about what’s wrong with the town and what they want to change,” Mills added.

After the summit, the council would then whittle down all ideas “and focus on one couple to specifically work on and try to lobby for the council”.

Another idea that came up was to discuss closing the Keefe Tech pool at the next board meeting. SOURCE first reported the Keefe Tech pool closing this summer on February 8.

The end goal that was discussed was to create more parking at Framingham High School.

In an interview, Mills said she would like to “focus on more outreach and getting things across to the young people in the city.”

“We say we’re here to represent our peers, but they don’t really know we’re here right now,” Mills said.

Mills said the Youth Council also wanted complete some existing projects, such as lowering the municipal voting age in the city of Framingham at 17.

Hamza Rifki, vice-chairman of the board, said he wants the board to be “more efficient, also to meet more consistently and to define and complete projects by the end of our terms. “.

The Youth Council was established in 2019 by then Framingham High senior Isabella Petroni, who wrote the ordinance. The city council passed the law in the spring of 2019.

The council has 13 members, one from each of the city’s 9 districts appointed by the district councilman, two at-large members appointed by each of the elected At-Large councilors, and two additional at-large members appointed by the mayor.

District Youth Advisors serve a one-year term from July 1 through June 30.

Extraordinary Youth Advisors have a term of 2 years.

Mills is a general counsel who was reappointed by Counsel George P. King Jr. in 2021. Her term ends June 30, 2023.

According to the ordinance passed by the 11-member city council to create the youth council, its responsibilities include:

  • Assess and examine issues facing young people in the city
  • Represent young people in the City of Framingham and advise elected officials and other decision-makers on matters of interest or concern to young people
  • Provide information and advocacy before public entities, including the mayor, municipal government, state government, federal government, police, school districts, and institutions of higher education, on behalf of youth in the Framingham town
  • To provide a structure for all young people in Framingham to learn the value of civic participation and thereby encourage lifelong participatory residents
  • Offer policy recommendations on issues affecting and of interest to young people
  • Engage with young people in Framingham to inform them of opportunities and listen to their suggestions on how the community can better serve its residents

The next Youth Council meeting is Sunday, March 27 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome.

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Ashlyn Kelly is a Spring 2022 SOURCE Intern. She is a Communication Arts major with minors in Political Science and Journalism at Framingham State University. When she’s not writing an article, you can usually find her in a theater.

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