The Miami Gardens progressive young adults committee has returned and hopes to be more effective and efficient than in years past.
The committee, made up of residents and residents of neighboring cities who are under 40 years old, was re-established last October after being disbanded in 2013 because of poor attendance at meetings and a lack of appointments by City Council members.
Staff said one of the main reasons for the spotty attendance was the size of the committee. The 21-member advisory board has been reduced to seven members — an appointment for each council member and the mayor. Five of them met last Thursday to elect a committee chairman, set their meeting schedule and discuss rules and procedures.
The committee elected former City Council candidate Mykita Cherry-Prime as chairwoman and Kevin Brown, president of the Miami Gardens Bulldogs youth football team, as vice chairman. Cherry-Prime, who finished third in the race for City Council Seat 6 last August, said she’s glad to see the committee make a comeback.
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“We’re missing people like ourselves in our community, young people who are stepping forth and saying I’m a leader, I’m here for our community, I want to fight for the children,” Cherry-Prime said.
Johnson Jean, a committee member appointed by Mayor Oliver Gilbert, said he is excited about the board’s potential to solve underlying problems facing younger residents.
“I’m looking forward to working together to seek issues and address some of these concerns that are affecting young adults,” Jean said.
Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro, who sponsored the ordinance to bring the committee back, said he thinks it’s important to have the perspective of younger residents.
“Young people have a vital role in social change across the country and I don’t think Miami Gardens is any different,” Ighodaro said.
He also hopes that the committee will encourage more civic engagement and help develop the next generation of political leaders in Miami Gardens.
“The apathy in terms of young people in our community is pathetic and we have to change that,” Ighodaro said.
City leaders have stressed the importance of reaching out to teenagers and young adults several times in recent years, with hopes that it can reduce crime and gang violence throughout the city.
The committee hopes to have fundraisers and a kickoff event in the near future to familiarize residents with the group and its goals.
In addition to Cherry-Prime, Brown and Jean, the other members are secretary Marvlyn Scott, Jeffrey LeFlore and Anthony Butler. Councilman David Williams has not appointed a member to the committee.
The committee’s meetings will take place bimonthly on the third Thursday of the month. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. May 21, in the community room at City Hall, 18605 NW 27th Ave.
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