On Dec. 3, youth from the PAL Coalition, along with different youth-led organizations from across the city, came together to talk to Mayor Greg Fischer about a number of problems affecting the city, including:
- Youth unemployment
- Policing in the Jefferson County Public School System
How Metro Government can help empower youth to care more about their communities
- How cooperative governing can improve the lives of all youth in the greater Louisville community.
The bulk of the time was spent talking about how security officers in the schools don’t like their jobs and sometimes their presence makes students uncomfortable. Dayna Brandon, a member of PAL and a sophomore at Iroquois High School, said, “Security is a problem, and they make school awful to be at times.”
Sahn Thach said, “The security guards hate their jobs and they are looking to get you doing something bad. They are expecting a problem and they aren’t there to be our friends and they just aren’t happy to be there.”
When Mayor Fisher tried to present the idea of police visibility and presence within a community, PAL member Alea Smith responded, “We need to know that we can trust the police. We (youth) don’t trust them. We need to learn how to trust the police and not always view them as the enemy or as a hostile presence in our neighborhoods.”
These comments led to a conversation about things Metro Government can do to help build trust, including improving community centers, offering more opportunities for youth during summer to extending hours that pools and recreation centers are open during the summer and school times.
Following the conversation, the mayor posed for pictures, said he was very excited to meet the attendees, and looked forward to more conversations in the future!