Youth Representation on the San Mateo Parks & Recreation Commission
Honorable Mayor Rodriguez and Members of the San Mateo City Council,
We are San Mateans, young and old, who want people from all walks of life to enjoy our City's recreational spaces. We are dedicated to promoting our city’s diversity and inclusive policies, and increasing representation of young people to ensure all voices are heard.
As of 2017, among the seven boards and commissions in San Mateo, there were zero San Mateans under twenty-five years old serving on the thirty-five available seats.*
We believe that designated youth leadership positions, better integrated at the commission level, would serve to benefit the City of San Mateo and provide spaces for youth to become more involved in issues that directly impact them.
We are asking the City Council to amend the Municipal Code to add two designated seats for young people to serve on the Parks & Recreation Commission. Between the years of 2018 and 2020, roughly 13,000, or about 62%, of recreation registrants were youth.** The Parks & Recreation services have the most direct impact on young people and therefore it’s the most relevant place for youth voices to be represented.
Given the council has endorsed the General Plan Update Vision & Values stating, “We embrace diversity and respect the experiences, contributions, and aspirations of people of all ages…” we hope you will support greater representation for people of all ages in local leadership. We are asking the council to prioritize this amendment in the upcoming strategic goal setting workshop in January 2022.
* 2017 City of San Mateo Commissioner Demographic Survey
** Numbers include an average of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 youth participation rates.
Part of 2019/20 and all of 2020/2021 participation rates were impacted by COVID-19.