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Sacramento could become first in the country to add city council youth liaison

Sacramento may add city council seat for youth liasion
Sacramento may add city council seat for youth liaison 02:21

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento may become the first city in the country to add a new seat to its city council dias for a youth liaison.

Councilmember Jay Schenirer is proposing the plan. The youth liaison would be 18-to-24 years old. 

"We couldn't find a city in the country or a major city in the country that does this," Schenirer said. 

"Do you think a youth liaison sitting alongside the councilmembers, that physical presence, could even change votes," CBS13's Steve Large asked.

"I think it changes the conversation," Schenirer said. 

Jacquelynn Kendricks works at Roberts Family Development Center in Sacramento, where the mission is children and community advocacy.

She supports the youth liaison plan.

"Giving access to youth voice really highlights the opportunity for children to have meaningful relationships with caring safe adults," Kendricks said.

The move follows Sacramento voters guaranteeing millions of tax dollars in youth funding with the passage of Measure L.

Ultimately, the goal is to curb the rise of violent crime in the city, which is up 30 percent year over year.

Monica Ruelasmares works for Youth Forward, which campaigned for the money for youth programs from funding from the cannabis business operations tax.

"It's kind of understanding the entire environment in the city of Sacramento and what really does impact public safety," Ruelasmares said. 

"I think as we as a city continue to plan for our future, and spend tax dollars, we need to have a voice of youth in that conversation," Schenirer said.

Sacramento city hall's youth movement could now include a physical seat on the city council.

The new position would come with a stipend for the youth liaison.

Councilmember Schenirer hopes to start the selection process for this young person next month.

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