Facilitate Alignment of 2021 Youth Power Platform

There are a lot of places where youth power / youth representation policies are being written up, specifically in the education space for now.


Identify stakeholders
Collect all current platforms
Understand the status of each policy point (document to fill out)
Add 7Cs of collective impact framing to ensure that questions of community-led, comprehensive, co-creative, equity-centered, well-capitalized, caring, and courageous are part of the platforms
Add Systems Change conditions of it’s not just policies, it’s practices, relationships, resource flows, power dynamics, and mental models/ideologies
Create interview guide to learn from more people
Facilitate alignment of policy points

Current Platforms

The People’s Plan NYC (formerly 2021 Policy Project)

Master Spreadsheet of All Policies and Writing Status
Note: These points are currently in draft mode! Am hoping that one of the things that will come out of YPC exploring all these policies is to move them into the 2021 Policy Project.

  • Lower voting age and running age for Community Education Councils to 14 YR (age of employment)
  • Remove cap for one student seat on CEC(s)
  • participatory budgeting placeholder (The Brotherhood/Sister Sol - Youth Demands)
  • mandated student members of SLT (including at middle school level - The Brotherhood/Sister Sol)
  • students on PEP with voting rights and specific number (RJPS)
  • student elected deputy chancellor (RJPS)
  • reporting on youth power / youth complaints (Youth Demands)

A point about civic education is within the culturally relevant pedagogy section and may be helpful to pull into the youth power platform as well.

Youth Demands

Compiled by The Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Full NYC Youth Demands Policy Paper

Youth Power related policy points

  • (1) Policy Free Schools: Create voting positions for youth on Community Education Councils, and the Panel
    for Education Policy
  • (2) Fully Fund and Adequately Implement Restorative Practices: Center youth leadership in school implementation plans.
  • (4) Invest in Training and Curricula: Institutionalize and fund civic education in all schools.
  • (5) Establish Robust Transparency and Accountability: Regarding School Leadership Teams, schools must proactively ensure equitable youth representation; respect and honor youth voices and votes; and create protocol for sharing information with the larger student body
    • Student voice is essential and should be uplifted and centered in all school environments. Schools must be required to actively inform the school community of opportunities to be a part of School Leadership Teams. This information sharing will be made directly to the student body and their families in order to ensure a diverse set of voices on a team that directly impacts the school.
    • In order to ensure student voices are equally listened to on School Leadership Team, schools must make meeting minutes publicly available.
    • Youth Power Reporting: Schools must be required to annually report on the civic power the student population maintains within their schools – especially as it relates to bodies that administer the school budget, mediate school climate, and have decision making power.

The Brotherhood/Sister Sol Liberation Program

Youth to vote for their chancellor, Youth on SLTs at the middle and high school levels (and prepped to be effective on these) and in so being help to craft the budgets for their schools

Youth Power Defense/Offence/Dreaming

Compiled by Peer Defense Project and Youth Power Coalition

Full Platform


  • MS-HS youth vote and sit on CEC (CEC2, CEC4, INCY, YPC)
  • Youth vote and sit on PEP (NYU Metro, YPC)
  • Youth vote and sit on city council (INYC)
  • Register youth with working papers (INYC)
  • Bipartisan campaign for “responsibility” for our future“be responsible” (INYC/TED)
  • YPC vote on community boards (YPC)
  • Youth Public Advocate (NYU Metro? YPC)
  • Youth Regent (Board of Regents) (NYP Metro? YPC)
  • Elect a Youth Mayor (INYC)
  • Build non-profit roles and bylaws that reflect roles not positions and consent based voting (YPC)


  • Consent-based distributed decision-making, not majority voting (YPC)
  • Get rid of all the “professionalism” and “politics” behind each leadership ROLE (positions are no longer called “positions” but roles)

Racial Justice in Education

#YouthPower Platform

Engage youth as key partners in decision-making at all levels

Youth leaders have been on the cutting edge of social justice policy and activism throughout this country’s history; yet, their voices are perhaps the most marginalized. In New York City, youth leaders have organized, made policy recommendations, and attempted to work within the system, but city leadership has consistently ignored their advocacy. As those most directly impacted by the decisions about their education, it is crucial that students have a meaningful voice in shaping their future beyond the existing structures for youth representation that provide only decorative or tokenized opportunities for students.

  • Give students voting power on elected community education councils, the Panel for Education Policy, and any other education decision-making bodies.
  • Invite students to sit in on faculty meetings related to academics and curricula
  • Strengthen youth engagement through a full and built out Borough Student Advisory Council and Chancellor’s Student Advisory Council.
  • Implement the first School Diversity Advisory Group report’s adopted “Student Empowerment” recommendations, including developing a student General Assembly with representation from every high school and a Student Leadership Team that meets regularly with the Chancellor
  • Provide free unlimited MetroCards for students
  • Expand youth-led college access centers using the Student Success Center model
  • Provide training and support to schools on student-centered design practices so that they center young people when creating and evaluating programs or courses
  • Create a safe space for students to give feedback and criticism to schools, especially students of marginalized identities such as students of color, documented and undocumented immigrant students, and transgender, gender nonconforming, and LGBQ students
  • Mandate student representation on the hiring board for new faculty members

School Diversity Advisory Group

Full Recommendations

Adopted Recommendation Original Recommendation
Adopted as proposed. Every school should have the resources for a high-quality student council
Adopted as proposed. Borough Student Advisory Councils should be expanded to include seats for student council representatives from every high school
Adopted as proposed. A General Assembly should be created with representatives from every high school to develop a citywide student agenda and vote on key issues
Adopted as proposed. The Chancellor’s Student Advisory Committee should be transformed into a leadership body that utilizes youth-adult committees to promote authentic partnership
Create a Student Leadership Team, comprised of one student from each BSAC to meet regularly (i.e., quarterly) with the Chancellor Create a Student Leadership Team, comprised of one student from each BSAC to meet monthly with the Chancellor
Adopted as proposed. Create a new leadership position within the central DOE office to focus on student voice
Adopted as proposed. Create a standing committee on high school admissions to advise the Chancellor in decision-making

Public Advocate

Reimagining Schools

Universal Youth Jobs
The cut to New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) due to the COVID-19 crisis was devastating for young people across the City. SYEP provides meaningful, paid employment and professional development opportunities for young people in the City. However, even before the cut to its funding, SYEP only offered jobs to about 75,000 young people every summer, who are chosen by a lottery. All young people should have guaranteed access to paid employment, internships, and professional development opportunities. Universal jobs for young people promote community safety by reducing criminal and juvenile justice involvement, and improve the chances of young people’s future career success.

Could be a place to talk about youth employment in advocacy organizations.

Additional Policies To Add

Community Education Council

Civic education and awareness so young people know of how the CEC works
Training for adults on how to lead intergenerationally
Onboarding process for CEC members + community of support for youth leaders on CECs
Voting to choose representatives (as opposed to superintendent choice)
Commitment to safety measures (e.g. no doxxing)

  • Explore idea of having high school students on CECs be chosen for having gone to elementary school / middle school in the district

Stakeholders and contact status


Student Voice Manager
Teens Take Charge
Bro/Sis Sol
An article I read mentioned that Sarah Andes Director of Programming at Generation Citizen was for lowering the voting age
Dignity in Schools
Urban Youth Collaborative
Girls for Gender Equity

Huge News: The People’s Plan of NYC is ready for edits!

Please look at the section on Expand Democratic Participation for Youth by April 9th. https://docs.google.com/document/d/19FLRu1H5JHENGQ05l5fDXuJFHvRHl8xGh5C4rLQtQ7I/edit#heading=h.otg887scy86g

@elliebaron This is a policy that’s super clear, already written, and adopted, but hasn’t been implemented. Do you think you could write this up in The People’s Plan, too so it can be included in the published Education chapter? I think this would be a huge win and respectful of the already existing work done by youth-led organizations across the city.

cc @williamdiep @Sophie.Xu as fellow The People’s Plan readers/editors/contributors

@elliebaron I think one more policy that could be added is one on funding for and training in intergenerational leadership and youth safety. DOE employees are supposed to have DEI training. I’d argue that they should also have anti-adultism / youth-centered / intergenerational leadership training.

cc @williamdiep @Sophie.Xu as fellow The People’s Plan readers/editors/contributors

Learning and Inspiration from the Leadership ISD Texas Student Voice Coalition (TSVC) and the HB4091 bill which would institutionalize youth/adult partnership in education if it passes.

OBJECTIVE 12: Students will be partners with educators and
administrators in the design, delivery, and success of the
students’ education.
SECTION 2. Subchapter B, Chapter 7, Education Code, is
amended by adding Sections 7.041 and 7.042 to read as follows:
Sec. 7.041. STUDENT EXPERIENCE STUDY. (a) Not less than
once every two years, the agency shall commission a statewide study
of student experience that must:
(1) evaluate student experience relating to:
(A) teacher effectiveness;
(B) campus culture and climate;
(C) postgraduate readiness;
(D) mental health;
(E) partnership and agency in decision-making;
(F) safety;
(G) discipline; and
(H) rigor and effectiveness;
(2) report information disaggregated by every student
subpopulation identified by the agency that includes more than 25
(3) use multiple modes of gathering quantitative and
qualitative data, including surveys, one-on-one interviews, and
focus groups;
(4) involve students in the planning and
implementation of the study; and
(5) include a representative sample set of suitable
size and diversity in terms of geography, income, race, learning
differences, and language abilities.
(b) Using the results of the statewide student experience
survey commissioned under Subsection (a), the agency shall:
(1) identify and track progress toward statewide
student experience goals;
(2) provide recommendations to the legislature
regarding allocation of educational resources;
(3) provide analysis of the effects of prior state
legislative enactments applicable to student experience; and
(4) provide coaching opportunities to school
districts whose students participate in the study.
(c) The results of the statewide student experience study
commissioned under Subsection (a) may not be used for purposes of
determining compensation for teachers.
(d) Not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year,
the agency shall submit a report that includes the results of the
latest statewide experience study commissioned under Subsection
(a) and any associated recommendations to:
(1) the governor and each member of the legislature;
(2) the superintendent and the president of the board
of trustees of each school district in this state.
(1) ensure decision-makers at state and local levels
are equipped to partner with students in the design, delivery, and
success of the students’ education;
(2) direct the board of trustees of each school
district to establish and monitor progress toward at least one goal
relating to student experience;
(3) develop or adopt and disseminate tools for school
districts to assess the extent to which they are partnering with
students in the design, delivery, and success of students’
(4) develop and provide training to school district
leaders, educators, and students regarding the facilitation of
partnerships between students and adults in the school
administration and measures for determining the success of student
education; and
(5) develop and provide training for boards of
trustees of school districts regarding methods to use students as
partners in the process of governing the boards’ districts.
SECTION 3. Not later than December 1, 2022, the Texas
Education Agency shall submit the first report that includes the
results of the statewide student experience study and any
associated recommendations as required by Section 7.041, Education
Code, as added by this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2021.

See the Final Versions!

The People’s Plan NYC

In Our Hands Coalition

The Policies

In New York City, young people, who are most impacted by the educational system, have the least power in determining its policy. Students have only one, non-voting seat on Community Education Councils, and just two high school and no middle school students have a place on the School Leadership Teams. There are no students on the citywide Panel for Educational Policy. It is critical that New York City public school students of all ages have a voice in decisions being made for and about them. Young people’s voices must be represented across all age groups, school classes, socioeconomic experiences, and school districts. These young leaders must not only be able to advocate their positions and share their experience but be able to vote on all matters affecting them and their peers.

10A. Empower youth voting, running for, and serving on Community Education Councils

10B. Invest in and expand youth decision-making in participatory budgeting

10C. Mandate student members on the School Leadership Teams

10D. Make students voting members of the City’s Panel for Education Policy

10E. Enable students to vote for the Deputy Chancellor of the Department of Education

10F. Report on Youth Power and Leadership