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Mid-City CAN Blog

In My Own Words –Youth council pushes for bill of rights

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In late January, about a dozen Mid-City CAN Youth Council members traveled to Stockton for a workshop to learn more about the California Fund for Youth Organizing’s campaign to create a California Student and Youth Bill of Rights focusing on education and opportunities for young people. The Mid-City CAN Youth Council decided to support the campaign and, after the trip, Youth Council Member Angeli Hernandez, 19, was appointed to the organizing group’s advisory board.

Angeli Hernandez, City College student and City Heights resident:

I feel honored to sit on the California Fund for Youth Organizing’s advisory board and to be able to represent City Heights on a statewide level.

The California Student and Youth Bill of Rights is a statewide campaign to pass a youth bill of rights. The youth bill of rights is especially for the youth because sometimes the youth, since they’re underage, don’t have protections. So we want to make sure that we have our own set of laws that protect us and that give us the same rights as an adult.

One of the things that I thought was interesting and related to things that we are also working on in City Heights is that the youth bill of rights focuses on education and transportation for students. All youth should have the right to safe access to and from school with public transportation. Here, what we’re working on [as part of the Improving Transportation in City Heights Momentum Team] is a free transportation pass, so that students can go to school and their jobs.

Something that’s affecting our schools is the food issue: Students should have more healthy options at school so they can learn better and also, just in general, education rights so that the students would have a healthier place to be educated.

At the workshop, I liked how all the different communities came together and they presented on what they’re working on their campaigns, including what their struggles have been and what their successes have been. We were able to connect with each other, learn what we’re all working on -- even though each city has different issues. All these issues come together for the bill of rights because if the bill of rights passes all of our campaigns will have more support. We can hold the politicians accountable and tell them, ‘Hey we have this bill here that protects the youths’ rights.’ So then we’ll be able to get what we want much faster.

Right now, the action that we’re taking is writing letters to the California State Assembly urging them to support the resolution, and also we’re going to meet with our local assembly members from each county.

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