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Santa Barbara Youth Council

Most City Board and Commission meetings are being facilitated through telecommunications to avoid close personal contact during the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to the current Board/Commission meeting agenda for further information on how to participate, or contact the Board/Commission secretary for further assistance.



The City Council established the United Youth Empowered in 1994 which became the Youth Council in 1997. Both the United Youth Empowered and the Youth Council were created to function as a voice for teens by facilitating youth forums, youth publications and planning teen activities. For many years, the Youth Council functioned as an advisory board for Teen Programs, the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council.

The Youth Council has served as a youth voice on the creation of city policies and the coordination and development of facilities and activities for teens in the community.

General Functions

  1. Represent community youth to ensure their concerns, issues and viewpoints are presented.
  2. Identify concerns, interests and needs of Santa Barbara youth and make recommendations to the City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission and Parks and Recreation Department staff.
  3. Promote and encourage youth interest and participation in community affairs.
  4. Gather youth and community input through civic engagement activities. Create and/or support opportunities for public discussion through forums, meetings, workshops and conferences. Share information gathered and make recommendations as appropriate.
  5. Collaborate and/or engage with other community agencies, advisory bodies or youth groups in areas of mutual concern and benefit.
  6. Recommend to the City Council, various city departments and agencies, as appropriate, changes in procedures, policies and/or legislation pertinent to youth in the Santa Barbara.
Committee Functions
Membership 15 members
The Youth Council may appoint up to five non-voting junior high school members.
Qualifications Members must be between the ages of 13 - 19 years. Eight of the fifteen members must be residents of the City.
  1. Nine members representing three SBUSD high schools
  2. Two members from local alternative, community, or continuation high schools
  3. Two members from local private high school or independent studies
  4. Two members at large
Length of Term Members serve two-year terms, beginning July 1st - June 30th. Members may be appointed to multiple terms. City Council may appoint a successor for vacant positions.
Meeting Schedule The Youth Council meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 735 Anacapa Street. *During the months of July and August the Youth Council meets once per month on a date and time decided by the Youth Council.
Time Involved 10-20 hours per month for meetings and activities
Financial Disclosure Requirement None
Compensation None

Neighborhood & Outreach Services Coordinator Ricardo Venegas

(805) 897-2547

Reference City Council Resolution 12-018

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Last Updated: Aug 5, 2020
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