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Burlington City Council opens up spots for students in government

Published: May. 24, 2021 at 11:30 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 5:54 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - High school students in Burlington now have the opportunity to get more involved when it comes to decision-making in the city.

Burlington City councilors are opening up seats for students on a number of city boards and commissions.

Some students are already having their voices heard because some city boards and commissions have existing seats for youth. This resolution adds new youth seats to other boards and commissions in the city like the Church Street Marketplace Commission and the Advisory Committee on Accessibility to name a few.

Councilors say youth who have served in these roles have brought valuable knowledge and perspective to decision-making in the city.

“It really makes us as elected officials, as appointed and elected officials, it gives us more of a direct connection to the new generation, the new generation of leaders. We want these to be the future city councilors of Burlington, the future school board members and our mayors,” said Brian Pine, a Progressive city councilor.

The council has a bit more work to do on this, but students should be able to apply and be selected later this year.

However, since people under 18 cannot vote, these students would not be able to have voting privileges on these boards and commissions. We do know that the town of Brattleboro recently opened up voting to 16- and 17-year-olds in local town elections. That’s something Councilor Pine hopes happens in Burlington, as well.

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