For Immediate Release - April 24, 2008

GOVERNOR PATRICK ESTABLISHES STATEWIDE YOUTH COUNCIL

Council will inform Administration on issues such as education, youth violence prevention and civic engagement

BOSTON - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - Surrounded by young people at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury, Governor Patrick today signed an executive order to establish a Statewide Youth Council as part of his administration's effort to engage and involve citizens of all ages and create opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth.

"I am very pleased and proud to implement this important piece of our effort to rebuild and revitalize our shared community in Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "Many of the issues we are tackling today, from climate change and college costs to violence prevention and health care, will become even bigger issues tomorrow if we don't start involving young people in these discussions now."

In the coming months, the state will appoint 28 young leaders to the council - two representatives from each of the Commonwealth's 14 counties - who will speak on behalf of their communities. Massachusetts residents age 14 to 20 are encouraged to apply at www.mass.gov/governor/youthcouncil.

Youth Council members will be on the front lines of policy discussions, sharing what they see in their communities and talking about how state government and communities can work together to find a solution. The issues and recommendations that come out of these meetings will receive prompt consideration at the highest levels of this government.

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Governor's Office of Community Affairs, will oversee council meetings and activities. The group will meet at least four times a year, and members will likely form subcommittees to focus on particular challenges facing Massachusetts youth. The Governor may appoint persons with relevant subject matter expertise to consult with the subcommittees.

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