Local youth invited to political convention

Local youth invited to political convention


Dan Walton
Oliver Chronicle

One lucky teenager might get the exciting opportunity to be immersed in the world of parcel taxes, zoning designations and development cost charges.

That’s because council is reaching out to local youth in case of the off-chance that one of them wants to go to this year’s UBCM convention.

When asked what kind of teenager would want to spend their free time there, Mayor Martin Johansen said, “People with aspirations to be leaders, engaged in their community. And we definitely have some of those people in this community.”

Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger spoke about Kamila Jones, a high school senior who joined the previous council at the convention three years ago.

“She had such a fantastic time,” he recalled. “At one meeting the minister spent more time talking to her than listening to us and what our needs are.”

Schwartzenberger said Jones ended up changing her major in university because of her experience at UBCM.

(file photo) Kamila Jones got a good taste of municipal politics at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention a few years ago

“It’s a great program for somebody who even has a small interest in politics,” he said.

Amy Grice supports the idea, but even though she knows of some youth who are community-minded, “I don’t know if they’re necessarily interested in politics.”

Coun. Petra Veintimilla suggested connecting with the local high school to see if councillors might be able to gauge any interest.

Schwartzenberger wondered if Lori Martine could see if any Oliver ambassadors – current or past members – might be interested.

Advertising on social media was another idea floated around.

“I don’t know if the youth look at Facebook,” CAO Cathy Cowan said.