The City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) hosted a non-partisan All-Candidates Q&A for youth of all ages on Saturday, April 29th. Key issues such as education, transportation, and health care were discussed. Candidates from Victoria-Beacon Hill, Victoria-Swan Lake, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and Saanich South joined to help youth gear up for election day – May 9th.
CVYC’s 2016/2017 cohort recently cross the mid-year point in our program. We spent some time reflecting on our experience thus far.
We are proud of accomplishing the following:
- Learning about the realities and legacy of colonization
- Becoming familiar with our neighbourhoods and connecting with people in our city
- Strategically planning a community event
- Community mapping and identifying places in Victoria that are not safe for youth
- Taking steps to addressing the needs of Victoria’s youth
- Spending time doing something we are passionate about by being a part of CVYC
This is some of what we have accomplished thus far:
- We met with City Council and Staff to discuss the issues concerning youth in our city
- We connected with other community organizations
- We spent time to learn about colonization and its impacts
- We have worked towards unlearning colonialism
- We have planned 3 community projects and have worked effectively in action teams
- We have increased our knowledge about social justice issues
- We have all learned to work together and create safe space for collaboration
Here are a few things we hope to do as we move forward:
- Attend poetry workshops
- Host an open mic event for youth
- Raise awareness about mental health resources in the Victoria
- Identify the housing demands of youth in Victoria
- Continue exploring decolonization and reconciliation within our communities
- Build social connections with our community and a strong team culture within CVYC
- Host one big event planned by the entire CVYC group
- Participate in a community garden
CVYC met with City Staff and Councilors on November 24th. The Meet & Greet started with a tour of the building. CVYC members got to walk up to the clock tour exactly as the clock struck 5 o’clock to hear the clock bells. Councilors and staff shared their favourite part of representing their communities which includes the ability to be creative and engaging with the emerging and changing needs of community members.
CVYC members shared their thoughts on effective ways for the City to engage youth. Delphina and Zara shared our completed sacred quilt that represented what CVYC members value. Shae-Linn and Kelvin spoke to our community asset map highlighting that public space is experienced differently by different folks based on the intersections of their identity. Rachel broke the ice using her activity on unlearning perfectionism.
The CVYC hopes to continue working closely with City Staff and Council as the new year unfolds and we begin working on our action projects.
Thanks City of Victoria for hosting us!
CVYC has been working together on a community asset mapping exercise. We have been identifying the following:
- Youth friendly zones
- No-go/unsafe zones
- Youth programs and services
- Places we like to hang out
We have also been brainstorming what we want in our city. Some ideas include – rotating open mic nights, affordable housing, more youth programs in our neighbourhoods, another sexual assault center, community garden plots, more accessible transit, and public art.
Conclusions from our community asset map:
- Depending on our identity, safe spaces for some people might be no-go zones for others
- Programs and services for youth as well as the places we like to hang out are mostly centralized in the Downtown Victoria area
- Public parks and beaches are some of the main places we like to hang out and spend our time with friends and family
- Transportation is a major accessibility issue for us