Press Release: Youth Lead Mayoral Candidate Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2017

Erik Skold



Saint Paul, MN: Sprockets is teaming up with a group of Saint Paul youth and youth workers to host a forum for candidates running for Saint Paul Mayor. The forum will be held on October 5, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Mt. Airy Boys & Girls Club.

“A city plays a large role in supporting the success of its young people, and our next mayor will make important decisions about investment in the youth who make up over a third of Saint Paul’s population. Sprockets is excited to help bring more young voices to the mayoral election and focus on issues that are important to youth through this forum,” said Erik Skold, Sprockets director.

Anaa Jibicho, one of the youth on the planning team, shared a call to action for his peers: “Amid the current political commotions, youth, amongst others, might feel as if they are voiceless, hopeless, and perpetually paid no attention to. But the truth is, we're the next generation of civic leaders. We owe it ourselves to take part in decisions that will affect us down the line. We need to come together…to find an effective approach to the fundamental disconnect between youth and our representatives.”

At the forum, the mayoral candidates will answer questions about issues that matter to young people, and will share their visions for youth success in Saint Paul. Eight candidates will be in attendance. The forum planning team is made up of youth and youth workers from organizations across Saint Paul who are interested in social justice and civic engagement. The organizations they represent include the Saint Paul Youth Commission, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), CommonBond Communities, Saint Paul Public Schools Student Engagement and Advancement Board, and the YWCA Saint Paul.

"There's an unwritten set of expectations for youth to be complacent with the political or social environment they are born into,” said Ia Vang, youth planning team member. “But youth are very much capable of having a voice and leading their own future because we will be the future doctors, scientists, lawyers, technicians, educators and artists. Youth are the future and we have a voice."

About Sprockets: Sprockets is Saint Paul’s out-of-school time network, bringing together many different afterschool and summer programs for youth across the city. Their vision is that all Saint Paul’s youth will develop their abilities as learners, contributors, and navigators so they can recognize and achieve their greatest potential, and they work to achieve that vision by improving the quality, availability, equity, and effectiveness of out-of-school time learning in Saint Paul. Sprockets is a collaboration between community organizations, the City of Saint Paul, and Saint Paul Public Schools.