Anchorage Youth
Development Coalition


What is "Youth in Governance?"

Young people and adults working together in positions of authority to make decisions and take action to strengthen organizations, communities, and our democratic society. See more in our Youth in Governance report about best practices for youth in governance, which includes examples from across the country and in Alaska to highlight success stories.

What about Anchorage?

On September, 12, 2017, the Anchorage Assembly adopted an ordinance to add a Youth Representative seat to the Anchorage Assembly. The Anchorage Youth Advisory Commission is now in the process of working to recruit, interview, and recommend a representative and alternate for the Assembly to Adopt.

Why is it important?

In 2016, there were nearly 300,000 people in Anchorage, with nearly 74,000 young people under the age of 18–that’s nearly 25% of all residents! These young people cannot vote, but civic decisions impact their lives directly. It’s time to foster meaningful engagement of youth to not only inform but improve local government and develop engaged citizens. In general, perspectives and input from young people are not often included in public decision making. Without a clear way to make young people’s views heard, they are not able to see how government works or gain political experience, and communities lose meaningful insight to form policy, including many policies and budget decisions that impact the lives of young people. But we can change that!

Benefits of Youth in Governance:

  • Youth Voice and Representation: Youth have a voice in decisions that affect them, and a forum to ask questions, speak their minds, and influence local politics.
  • Positive Youth Development: It promotes positive outcomes among youth, including the development of life skills, networking skills, and civic responsibility.
  • Civic Development: Our society is strengthened when youth become informed and thoughtful citizens. Young people develop skills, knowledge, commitment, and experience to become full members of our community and take political action.
  • Better-Informed Policies: Youth bring new perspectives, energy, and compassion to boards that better inform discussion, decisions, and policies that influence the betterment of the community.
  • Mutual Respect: Adults and youth alike gain a newfound appreciation for each other and stronger connections.
  • Future Leaders: Leadership skills are developed most deeply in adolescence and young adulthood, so engagement through critical thinking, planning, decision-making, and group dynamic experiences all work together to shape our city’s future leaders. Getting young people involved in local governments gives them a stake in their communities.

Apply for the Youth Representative Seat

Apply to the Anchorage Youth Advisory Commission by June 1st!

Additional Resources

AYDC Updates

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The Anchorage Youth Development Coalition supports  organizations to advance positive youth development. Become a contributing coalition member to build a community of professional youth work for all young people.

Contact Us

Center for Safe Alaskans

4241 B Street, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99503

Phone: (907) 929-3939

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