Knoxville Appoints ‘Youth Council’ of 12 to 20-Year-Olds to Help Address City Issues


On Wednesday, Knoxville announced the appointment of 17 youths to a council dedicated to addressing city issues through “strategic planning.” The “Mayor’s Youth Council” will work alongside the Knoxville City Council and other city officials as they focus on community organizing, leadership, and advocacy. The council has a total of four eighth-graders, three high school freshmen, four sophomores, four juniors, and two seniors representing eight schools.

The council will begin meeting over the summer. According to the mayor’s office, they will be tasked with learning municipal services, collaborating with their peers and youth-serving nonprofits, and “strategic planning.”

The city formed the Mayor’s Youth Council earlier this year. Knoxville Community Engagement Manager Kathy Mack hosted a virtual youth forum in February to collaborate with youth on the council’s creation.

Some suggestions put forward by the dozen youth in attendance included “redistribution of resources,” providing more housing, gun violence prevention legislation, “more equitable development,” cameras at schools, and “increas[ing] the value of all over emphasis on self.”

Mack said she believed that getting youth involved would help stop the violence in the city.

“A lot of times our young people are not at the table, so this is an opportunity for them to have a seat at the table and for their ideas and concerns to be heard,” said Mack. “The timing is right. I always say the timing is now to get youth people involved.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council was launched as part of the “Empower Knox” initiative, focused on providing opportunities for youth achievement in the community – especially at-risk youth.

Empower Knox began with “Save Our Sons,” a program primarily focused on reducing criminal activity in African American youth, decreasing community crime, revitalizing blighted communities, and reducing recidivism. The Mayor’s Youth Council would assist in each of those goals, from a youth perspective.

Spokespersons with the mayor’s office didn’t respond with comment by press time.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Knoxville Skyline” by Nathan C. Fortner. CC BY-SA 3.0.





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7 Thoughts to “Knoxville Appoints ‘Youth Council’ of 12 to 20-Year-Olds to Help Address City Issues”

  1. Kitty Lenoir

    We thought she was a moderate….boy were we wrong. Come on Knoxville elect a conservative next election!

  2. Cannoneer2

    Only Baby Boomers should be allowed to have a say in how things are run.

  3. Benjamin Taibi

    Sounds like a backdoor to create little social justice activists instead of doing good for the community – I’ll wager the adults pushing this will be telling the kids what they should feel is important to them.

  4. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe they can get the city to install TikTok stations on every corner? Maybe vaping tents at City Hall. The sky is the limit. Well, I guess the adults have screwed that city up pretty well, so why not give the kids a shot, eh?

    1. 83ragtop50

      The Faker – Good points. That bunch has shown that they are without a clue so they bring in the clueless to help. They are starting to make Memphis look almost sane – but not safe.

      Just wait. Nashville will not be far behind.

  5. Jeanne Vineyard Fielden

    The problem in Knoxville is the Liberal Mayor and Police Chief who are hand-holding BLM and the NAACP while the gangs shoot up the city. The kid who was killed at AE had been in a gang since middle school and was allowed to roam the halls and have his way beating up his girlfriend and whoever. Indya is a hippy chick who is only there to say yes to the Libs. Terrible lack of leadership and leading our city into demise.

  6. Alex Otto

    Any requirements or is it random?

    a 17 yr old