I really enjoyed reading these ideas about getting Mayors involved in asset-building initiatives. They are from a discussion thread on the Healthy Communities - Healthy Youth listserve. You can sign up for the list here.
Do any of you have examples you can share about how your community’s mayor has been involved in, or led, asset building activities? Any info is much appreciated.
Community Youth Champion, Youth Count, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.youthcount.com/
From: "Sue & Mike Trefry"
Our organization is running an "Asset Champions" breakfast following the models of project cornerstone from San Jose and a "leaders/mayors" breakfast idea that is run in St Albert. We were originally going to call it a mayors breakfast but decided we wanted to focus more on people in our community who invest in youth vs focus on our youth centre.
We are showcasing an exemplary youth program in our community and giving out two awards. In this case the Royals football team is being highlighted which is a great program that integrates discipline/character/community service etc. They involve adult volunteers and older youth/young adults help younger youth. The coach is the keynote speaker.
From Project Cornerstone in San Jose we have adapted a couple of their awards (adult mentor and peer to peer mentor) to acknowledge people who invest in the lives of youth. We have acknowledged them as the source of the event on the application form and other documents. We will be handing out certificates at the event.
Our mayor is the primary dignitary and will be handing out the awards with our Youth Director as well as doing an opening greeting. A senior RCMP official will be the MC who will educate whoever attends on what asset building is.
Assets will be talked about through the program. This is the first time we are trying this so can't vouch for the success until completion. Date being run is May 14th.
Board Chair, Jericho Youth Society (The VAULT Youth Drop-In Centre)
From: "Beth Armstrong"
Our mayor sponsored a half day training on being an asset builder for all staff of the city. The training was mandatory for all employees. He also signed the city up as a Youth Champion – making the pledge to do their part to build assets and but Youth First in the community. He sponsored payroll deduction in honor of youth programs in the county and provided an incentive. Each employee that signed up for the payroll deduction had their name entered in a drawing to win various prizes. His next goal is to challenge our county government to step up and make some of the same efforts. We are fortunate to have him as a leader and asset builder in our community!
Youth First of Washington County, Youth Development Coordinator, www.wccf.biz
From Kelly Curtis at Empowering Youth:
Our mayor is very good about proclaiming days to honor people. When my daughter was named a Prudential Spirit of Community distinguished finalist, he wrote a long, asset-rich proclamation and named that day of that year after her. He also invited her to speak in front of the council to explain her service project, and that was televised on the local cable channel. And her photo was in the paper, shaking his hand, etc. It all works toward building on positive public perception about youth.
He also has two youth seated on his council, so he walks the walk as well. I don't exactly know how the student representatives are chosen, but when I attended the council meeting, the two students were seated at the same tables with the rest of the council. They appeared to take the position seriously, and everyone treated them just like the other members of the council.
David Schnitzler is the name of the mayor - in New Richmond, Wisconsin.
I hope this helps!
Kelly Curtis, M.S.
From: "Carlson, Cindy"
There is an exciting opportunity for mayors to promote the well-being of the young people in their community. The Mayor’s Action Challenge for Children and Families is a national effort to enlist mayors to set targeted goals and use their public influence on behalf of young people. This initiative, sponsored by National League of Cities, is already endorsed by 105 mayors across the country and provides an opportunity for a more in-depth and comprehensive involvement by elected officials. You can find out more at http://www.mayorsforkids.org/.
One of the strategies that is gaining increasing popularity is the Mayor’s Book Club (a great community-wide strategy for asset # 25). See http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-10-15-bookclubs_N.htm for an article and http://www.hamptonmayorsbookclub.org/ for the way our city is doing it.
Hampton Coalition for Youth, email@example.com, www.hampton.gov/foryouth