Memphis Youth City Council
The Memphis Youth City Council is a youth member council that serves to represent youth interests in the City of Memphis government. Students serve as an advisory board to the Mayor and the Memphis City Council. Its purpose is to engage our youth in the political process and create leaders for the future.
Memphis-area high schools (Grades 9-12) hold elections where student candidates can campaign for the votes of their peers. Winning candidates will represent their peers for a one-year term by providing city leaders with a voice for youth concerns.
One high school from each city council district was randomly selected from a computer-based lottery to elect student representatives for each city council position. For 2016-2017, the following schools were selected for participation:
- District 1: Craigmont High School
- District 2: Ridgeway High School
- District 3: Whitehaven High School
- District 4: Wooddale High School
- District 5: Memphis Catholic High School
- District 6: Mitchell High School
- District 7: Memphis Academy of Health Sciences High School
- District 8-1: Douglass High School
- District 8-2: Hollis F. Price Middle College High School
- District 8-3: Westwood High School
- District 9-1: St. Mary’s Episcopal School
- District 9-2: Memphis University School
- District 9-3: East High School
The Memphis Youth City Council is modeled after the Memphis City Council. It consists of 13 students, each elected by peers at their own school after running their campaigns. Seats 1-7 are filled by the winning candidates from one school per district. The remaining six seats are filled by the winning candidates from six schools within the two super districts.
By participating in this process, students will:
- Be engaged through the campaigning, election, and representing process
- Propose legislation to remedy issues affecting them
- Listen to other students and act on their concerns
- Recognize the value of active community involvement
- Increase likelihood of future civic engagement
The Memphis Youth City Council will benefit from having a diverse group of students—not just “top scorers”—as all students are encouraged to contribute their innovative, helpful ideas. Deciding candidates through student election is one way of ensuring this diversity. It engages more students in the electoral process and helps them understand the importance of community participation. The school lottery is designed so that all schools throughout Memphis will eventually have the chance for a representative to participate on the MYCC.
The Inaugural Ceremony for the Memphis Youth City Council was held on August 4, 2016.