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Written by Yessica Martinez Mulet, MYC Co-Chair

Over the last month, the Multnomah Youth Commission began avidly planning and reaching out to locations to give recruitment presentations for youths to learn more about the MYC and apply. Throughout the month, commissioners have been giving visiting numerous clubs and organizations that serve youth across the county, sharing their stories and encouraging youth to apply to be part of the MYC. Application were due at the end of April, and we will have interviews with applicants in mid-May. We are looking forward to meeting the applicants and finding our new members for next year’s commission!

At the beginning of March several youth, along with our staff Ana and Erika, attended Everybody Reads 2016. They were given the opportunity to listen to Cristina Henriquez share the motivation behind writing The Book of Unknown Americans. This was a wonderful opportunity to use literature as a means of acknowledging cultural differences.

Later that month youth commissioners Jessica Monje-Perez, Noe Alonso, and LaShawn McCarthy presented at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit to share the Sustainability committee’s work so far regarding YouthPass.

 Furthermore, the Education/Youth Voice Committee spent the past couple of months preparing for the Youth Candidate Forum which will took place on Wednesday, April 27th at Benson Polytechnic High School. The forum was a great opportunity for young people ages 13 to 21 to interact with mayor, city, and county commissioner candidates. Keep an eye out for next month’s newsletter for an update on how the forum went and who community youth selected as their favorite candidate for each position.

 Lastly, we want to thank you for your support and we invite you to continue reading to learn about the current work of our committees. 

Monthly Riddle

How do you describe an emotoional banana?

Submitted by Lashawn McCarthy

Answer to last month’s riddle: when you're on a plane!

Alumni Spotlight

Jackie Altamirano MarinJackie.jpg

Years on the MYC: 2010-2013; Currenlty a Trainer Organizer with Western States Center, based out of Portland, OR. 

1. How did your experience on the MYC help shape your goals?

I am forever grateful for the MYC. The MYC is my organizing home. It was the first place that provided me the support and tools to realize the autonomy and power that I hold. My identities of being immigrant, woman of color, youth, 1st generation student were all uplifted and honored, my experiences were validated, I was listened to and given leadership by adults and folks in positions of power in many ways for the first time. The MYC helped to shape my goals and values that I now carry into my work. I am fully committed to realizing self-advocacy and power for communities that traditionally have been marginalized and left out, and do so by making space and giving tools for folks to share their stories and speak their truths. All of that was sparked and fostered through the MYC.

2. What skills did you gain on the MYC that are important in your life now?

The MYC was an incredible experience for me and although, while I was in it I felt the impact it was having on me and my life, it wasn't until now that I've had time to reflect, to realize just how life-changing the MYC really turned out to be. I have an incredible appreciation for youth leadership, advocacy, and adult partnerships, and am forever thankful to our adult advisors (Marc and Todd) for being a huge part of that.

3.) What do you remember most vividly about your time on the MYC?

In my free time I like to go to bookstores, check out new comics, go to record stores for vinyls and old cd's, hang out with my best friend and go dance, eat, be with my family, and force my cat to take pictures with me.

4.) Anything else you would like to share?

Thank you to the current MYC for continuing to do truly transformative work.

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Christopher Luchini , 21

School:  Graduated from OSU Extension's Beginning Urban Farming Apprenticeship Program;  will be attending PCC Southeast with a focus in math and astronomy. 

1. How did you hear about the MYC? What made you apply?

I was a member of United Voices.  United Voices is an arts in activism and hip hop youth organizing program sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) .  The AFSC United Voices Program Director Mireaya Medina was always good about taking us places where we learned something and also had fun.  We went to the YOUth (Youth Organized and United to help) Summit.  The YOUth Summit takes place every year in February.  It is organized by visionary Imani Muhammed.  MYC participated in that 2009 YOUth Summit.  I was only 13 when I met MYC.  However, I was too busy with Boy Scouts.  I was on the Trail to Eagle Scout.  I did not have time for both.  I became an Eagle Scout when I turned 18.  I applied for MYC in 2013.  Before I joined MYC, I attended MYC general meetings as a guest to know what MYC was about.  I'm now a 3rd year Multnomah Youth Commissioner on the Sustainability Committee. 

2. Tell us about yourself.

I am enthusiastic. I have a lot of interests.  I am a very hard worker but I like to have fun too.   I think it's possible to do both.   I like to hike and bicycle. My favorite places are OMSI and the Oregon Coast.  I like to read. I like to dance and listen to socially conscious hip hop like Mic Crenshaw.  I also like to listen to pop music.  I like volunteering at the Holgate Library and the Oregon Food Bank.  I like to star gaze and I'm a member of Rose City Astronomers.  I like to camp. I'm involved with the local peace and social justice communities. 

3. What would people be suprised to know about you?

I would like to be the first astronaut to dj in outer space.  People are surprised that my favorite food is sausage.  They tend to think that I'm a vegetarian or a vegan. 

Committee Updates

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Over the last couple of months, the Education/Youth Voice Committee focused on planning community engagements to get youth feedback on our policy recommendations meant to reduce chronic absenteeism, and we planned our youth candidate forum to allow youth and candidates to interact and exchange views.

To begin our first round of community engagements we narrowed our list of locations to seven (Rosemary Anderson High School, Centennial Park School, Benson High School, Roosevelt High School, New Avenues for Youth, Outside In, SE Works), selecting a spread of mainstream high schools, alternative schools, and community centers. Our first community engagement was on April 12th at Rosemary Anderson High School, with communication ongoing with the other locations. Two committee members will facilitate each community engagement, allowing for youth-to-youth dialogue during the engagements.

Much of our time has been dedicated to planning the 2016 Youth Candidate Forum. Candidates for all city and county positions were contacted, and based on availability it was decided that the forum would be held on Wednesday, April 27th. The chosen location was Benson Polytechnic High School. Committee members also spent the month setting an agenda, drafting scripts for the event, and creating a materials list. Look for more details on the forum in next month’s newsletter!

With the support of city commissioner Steve Novick and other allies, we are also in the process of writing our first Opinion Editorial on later high school start times for Portland Public Schools. For our Op-Ed, we have partnered with local pediatricians who also believe a later school start would be the right step for PPS, and who also possess a wealth of data and knowledge to support our recommendation. The school year is wrapping up, and with that the committee is working hard to achieve its goals for the year.

Submitted by Grace Ramstad and Ender Black, members of Education/ Youth Voice

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The Sustainability committee has had a busy few months. In March we met with with our partner YEJA (Youth Environmental Justice Alliance) at OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. This meeting was important because we are both advocating for youth pass for young people. However, our  focuses are a little different so we needed to find ways to support each other's work. MYC’s current focus is expanding YouthPass to all youth experiencing houselessness in Multnomah County. YEJA’s focus is expanding  YouthPass to East Portland schools districts. Later on in the month, Youth commissioners Lashawn McCarthy, Noe Alonso, and Jessica Monje-Perez presented the Sustainability committee’s work at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit (OATS). We talked about our past work, current work, and what we would like to accomplish in the future. Overall we received positive feedback from our presentation. “Sustain and maintain!”- Sustainability sign off.

Submitted by Lashawn McCarthy member of Sustainablity

The Youth Against Violence Committee (YAV)YAV Feb Update.jpeg

Youth Against Violence has been busy working on our series of workshops to build relationships between youth and police.  We have worked along with our police officer partners Lt. Mike Fort and Sgt. Tim Sessions, gathering police thoughts on how to build relationships between police and youth.  We have reconnected with and will build on our partnership with local theater organization Living Stages to support incorporating Theater of the Oppressed activities into our workshops. This spring and summer we will be reaching out to local schools and organizations where we would like to host the workshops, and we will be finally ready to implement in schools this fall!

Submitted by Reyna Tapia Herrera member of YAV 

Request to Present

We want to hear from you! Do you want the Youth Commisson's voice on a project or community issue? Do you want to come talk to the Youth Commisison at our Sunday meeting? Contact us anytime!

Stay Connected With Us!

MULTNOMAH COUNTY: 10317 E Burnside, Portland, OR. 97216 (P) 503.933.1984                CITY OF PORTLAND: 1221 SW 4th Ave. RM 110, Portland, OR. 97204  (P) 503.823.1848

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