Youth Empowerment Summit Press Release

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In March 2018, 74 high school students from Yolo County gathered at Woodland Community College for the Youth Empowerment Summit, an event that empowers and encourages youth to say “YES!” to leadership and civic engagement in their local communities. “YES!” is a collaboration between the Yolo County Elections Office, the Woodland Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board, the League of Women Voters, the Yolo County Office of Education, the Early Academic Outreach Program at UC Davis and Woodland Community College. At the summit youth had the opportunity to speak directly with 22 elected officials ranging from school board members, city council members and various county officials about community issues that matter most to them. Participants were given a survey before and after the Youth Empowerment Summit. Before the summit only 39 percent of youth agreed with the statement, “I feel comfortable contacting and talking to elected officials about community issues.” After the summit 93 percent of participants agreed with the statement. In the first survey 68 percent agreed with the statement, “I feel like my voice matters and that elected officials respect my opinions.” By the end, 100 percent agreed with the statement.  The model and success of the Yolo County Youth Empowerment Summit is gaining statewide attention. Many heard about the program in July when Jesse Salinas, Yolo County Clerk/Recorder/Assessor and Registrar of Voters was asked to present on “YES!” during the best new ideas session at the CACEO (California Association of Clerks and Election Officials) conference in Long Beach. Election officials and community partners are calling the program groundbreaking and are looking to possibly replicate the program in other parts of the state. In addition to the organizations involved in the Youth Empowerment Summit, the event was made possible and supported by the local community.  Local donations were provided by several local organizations including the Rotary Club of Davis, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 and the Davis Rebekah Lodge #253.  Other donations were made by private individuals including Bob Segar, Jenifer Segar, John Mott-Smith, Randy Beaton, Sid England and Susan Shelton, along with other in-kind anonymous individual donations. Hart InterCivic, an election equipment vendor helped facilitate a mock election at the event and donated polo shirts. Several community partners and volunteers also offered their time to help facilitate the event. The 2nd annual Youth Empowerment Summit will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Woodland Community College and planning is already underway! Donations for the future youth summit can be made at Contact Katharine Campos at 530-666-8132 with questions or inquiries on how to engage youth with “YES!”.   Connect with Yolo County ACE – Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections on Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: @YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE to stay informed on “YES!”, future events and live election night results for the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election.  ]]>

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