Best Practices - Vol. IV

CITY OF CLEVELAND, TN
Mayor Tom Rowland

Mayor's Youth Summit

The first Cleveland Youth Summit was held April 19 in the City's Municipal Building with 15 students invited by Mayor Tom Rowland to present their views on their community and discuss them with local leaders.

The Mayor said he decided to host the event after talking with the City's young people about both positive and negative aspects of their communities. Impressed with their enthusiasm and ideas, he wanted to give the young people an opportunity to contribute. It was appropriate, he said, in part because 24 percent of the population of the community is 18 years of age and under.

The students who participated in the event were chosen by junior and senior high school resource officers. Community leaders represented the education, law enforcement, business and industry sectors of the City.

"I have already received various community plans to act on information garnered from the young people," reports Mayor Rowland. "This would include Cleveland State Community College preparing summer programs for the youth at no charge, primarily focusing on art and culture. One young entrepreneur is beginning a one-page newsletter to circulate throughout the community to list youth activities, as requested by some of those attending. He has already sold advertising to support the newsletter. Our MainStreet Cleveland program, responding to the youth wanting a downtown street dance, already has that in the plans. I have also had requests from civic clubs asking me to speak on the success of the Youth Summit."

The Mayor says he is continuing to follow through on the suggestions of the young people in the Youth Summit and that he intends to hold more of the events. In response to many requests, he is now planning to hold a summit for senior citizens.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (615) 476-8931

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