Young leaders with the Invest in Youth Long Beach campaign have been hard at work this summer advocating for a Fiscal 2019 City Budget that would back the establishment of a Long Beach Children and Youth Fund. Shortly after the release of the Mayor Garcia’s proposed budget, young leaders illustrated the potential opportunities the fund could provide underserved youth at the Young People’s Budget Hearing. The hearing, co-sponsored by Ninth District Councilmember Rex Richardson, used theater of the oppressed skits to demonstrate ways in which oppression is embedded in systems youth interact with, as well as art and writing activities where attendees could gather thoughts and experiences to share with local leaders.
Due to the advocacy led by young people to show the disconnect between community budget priorities and Long Beach’s current investments, elected officials voted to approve $200,000 to seed the first-ever Long Beach Children and Youth Fund and development of a youth-led strategic plan. The decision to support youth through the city budget aligns with thinking about public safety more holistically and creating space for the most vulnerable in our city.