Emilie Coyle today released a six-point action plan to increase engagement, provide more meaningful job opportunities and develop mentorship programs for youth in College Ward and the City of Ottawa.
“Too many young people are feeling left out and powerless in the city. They need access to decent jobs and meaningful participation in civic decisions that affect them. They also need safe places to meet and have fun and pursue creative activities.” said Coyle, who is a candidate for City Councillor in College Ward.
Coyle’s initiative will:
- Create a Youth Advisory Council for College Ward, with young people from all backgrounds, ages 15 – 25;
- Work to increase job opportunities and paid internships for youth, with a focus on quality mentorship, as well as adequate income, at City Hall and in Ottawa’s private sector companies;
- Ensure there are safe public spaces in College Ward for youth to meet and engage in activities, and that these spaces are widely promoted to young people;
- Advocate for youth representation on City of Ottawa Committees and Boards that have public representation and the piloting of a “Model City Hall” - including both Council and senior corporate staff roles – similiar to Model UNs and Parliament for youth;
- Support adequate resourcing for the City’s Youth Engagement Committee;
- Encourage input of youth on key Council decisions such as the new Official Plan and annual budget.
Coyle is already hearing from young people in College Ward about issues such as the need to improve personal safety, inadequate access to health resources and the desire to have a stronger say in community decision-making. The Youth Advisory Council for College Ward will provide a forum for young people to engage with Coyle, to flag developing issues and tell her where they stand on upcoming decisions affecting College Ward and the city. Coyle looks forward to a close collaboration with young people including students at Algonquin College which is in College Ward.
“Ottawa’s youth, especially those who are marginalized and under-represented, need to be given an opportunity to speak, and to be heard,” said Ally Freedman, age 22, who is leading youth engagement on Coyle’s campaign. “I have seen firsthand how Emilie genuinely cares about making a positive difference in the lives of young people,” said Sara Habel, a third year Algonquin College graphic design student hired by Coyle to design her campaign brand and all her information and promotional products.
In making the announcement, Coyle noted the excellent consultation process and substantive Youth Strategy for Rideau Rockcliffe Ward, developed with the leadership of Councillor Tobi Nussbaum, during his first term on City Council. That initiative could provide a blueprint for College Ward’s Youth Advisory Council, but Coyle says it will be up to young people to come up with a model they find suitable.
“I am committed to listening to the voices of young people, empowering them and following their leadership,” Coyle said. “In making College Ward and Ottawa welcoming and vibrant for all young people to learn, work and play, we make the city better for all of us.”
Coyle’s campaign team includes children and youth volunteers. To date, her youngest canvasser is eight years old! More information on Coyle’s platform and campaign visit: emilecoyle.ca
For more information, please contact:
Emilie Coyle, 613.316.6785 or firstname.lastname@example.org