Douglas Mayor starts first city youth council

Douglas Mayor starts first city youth council
Mayor Douglas' Youth Council being sworn in.
Douglas Mayor Tony Paulk (Source: WALB)
Douglas Mayor Tony Paulk (Source: WALB)

DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) - Fourteen students were sworn into the Douglas Mayor's Youth Council Monday afternoon.

This is the first youth council to convene under Mayor Tony Paulk.

"High school students are different. We are almost adults and they don't take that into account," said Junior City Attorney and Junior Finance Officer Alexis Davis.

"Just being able to provide a voice like, for your people and being able to give the adults and city government a different point of view," said Junior City Attorney Irian Tatum.

Voices from members of the Douglas Mayor's Youth Council.

"I also think that a lot of times adults think that we don't understand or we don't care about what's happening around us," said Junior Ward 3 Commissioner Ashunti Glover.

Despite that, these students are headed from the classroom to the courtroom. A lot of them said they were skeptical at first about joining. But they said they realize how important it is for people their age to have a voice.

"Many times, as high school students, we don't know whats going on in our city government. I bet you a bunch of these people couldn't tell you who our mayor is, who are commissioners are. And through this, I just want to help bring that up to these students," said Junior Finance Officer Avery Hurst.

After being sworn in, the mayor said he couldn't be more excited to work with these students.

"I felt as though we were not listening to our youth and I needed a vehicle to give our youth a voice," said Paulk. "Sometimes we as adults, we need to be adults. we need to be more supportive of our youth. I am supremely convinced that having the mayors youth council gives them that voice."

The position of junior mayor was filled by Coffee High School junior, Asia Denning. She said that this role is important to her because she is leading what will be the first youth council.

"If I can be that light and be a positive role model on people, coming up like the little babies. You know I have siblings, so when they tell me I'm their role model, that just does something to me to be greater than what I am doing and be excellent and reach for the stars," said Denning.

The students chosen had to write a 500-word essay on what they do throughout the community and what they would do if they were on the youth council.

On Wednesday, the council will head to Atlanta to take a tour of the capital.

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