City Hall is adorned with murals and while they might look like graffiti to some, in fact it is a creative demonstration of citizen engagement – particularly from two normally marginalized groups: youth and people living in homelessness and poverty. Youth from the City of Edmonton Youth Council (CEYC) and iPulse made this project happen over the last year. It was so great to be able to say that I played a part in helping them realize a dream and bring a voice to stories that may otherwise go unheard – that’s the Streets Speak project.
And really, who doesn’t love hearing about amazing, inspiring work being done by this city’s youth? Lucky for me I get to work with an amazing bunch of them on a daily basis. CEYC volunteers are what make my job exciting (and sometimes my inbox really full)! They have monthly meetings where the over 30 General Assembly members attend to learn about the City and give a youth perspective on things. Many of them, with their unbridled passion, meet WAY more often than that on their different areas of interest in ‘subcommittee form’. There’s obviously a subcommittee on homelessness but also ones on transportation, the environment and policy.
Since they all have such great stories to share there’s really no point in me trying to be the commentator’s voice on all of it – THEY’LL be sharing some of their own experiences and stories here on the blog really soon! From meeting City Councillors and providing input on City policy to volunteer recruitment and hosting events like Youth Week and Mock Council – these youth have experienced it all (and I think) are pretty excited to tell you about it in their own words. Stay tuned. While you’re waiting, go down to City Hall and check out the Streets Speak murals – on display for a couple more days until February 27th.