Virtual City Council Meeting Summary
City council committee meetings have not always been fun to attend for young people and especially students. However, it is a social responsibility for a person to know what is going on and contribute towards the betterment of the place they live in. It is in this spirit that I was able to attend a city council committee meeting virtually. I learned a lot and began to see the amount of work that needs to be done for our typical home, our city. The city council committee on youth, planned the meeting on youth services, and it had a lot of information that had to be deliberated, discussed, and a final vote made. The youth committee has jurisdiction over the youth and all the youth-related programs, the youth board, and inter-agency coordinating.
The meeting was held on the 25th of February 2021, and it was a virtual meeting; therefore, I connected from home. Even though this was challenging as the meeting began, it was successful mid-way and as the meeting came to an end. The officials in the forum included the committee’s chairperson, the vice-chairperson, the secretary, and the treasurer. The vice secretary was absent with an apology that she was attending to an emergency at home, which she was unable to leave at that particular time. The whole committee unanimously excused her. Apart from the committee members, other attendants like me were in attendance and were also invited to participate fully and provide insights and ideas on how to make the youth better in the city. The total number of attendees was one hundred and twenty and most of them comprised of youths from different parts of the city and in their different capacities and capabilities.
The meeting’s main agenda was how to deal with the issue of being idle of the youth. This agenda trickled down into sub-sections. The youths were highly involved in drug and substance abuse due to them being idle; they were also engaged in excessive sexual attitudes and behaviours due to the same. Most of the youths were also getting eating disorders, and sleeping disorders also related to idleness. They were also getting obese and lazy due to inactivity and their inability to exercise. Therefore these issues presented before this committee were heavy and had to be discussed with the youths participating fully and consciously to make sure that the other youths who could not move forward with life due to such limiting factors were provided with alternatives to engage in. The agenda having been broken down was discussed according to the different sections of the plan (Powers, 60).
Drug and substance abuse were discussed as one of the issues of great concern caused by idleness. As stated by some members, the use of drugs affected the youths and affected the people around them, and therefore this had to be curbed by all means possible. There were many suggestions as to how this could be solved. Some of these included involving the youth in productive activities that could be essential and useful to them, like sports activities, volunteer work in the city, and religious activities for religious youth. Other suggestions for this challenge were to talk to the parents and inform them to take care of their children who are youths and give them work at home to help them stop being idle.
Apart from these, drug abuse and use were taken seriously, and most people suggested that the government increase the penalties for drug use and abuse. However, this was rejected by some members who said that force was not a solution, but it could only be used whereby other methods failed. They suggested that the government should increase the campaign against drug use through social media. The campaign was also to be youthful; that means that the campaign should be made as interactive as possible and make the youths enjoy it. However if being soft and trying to make the youths understand was not working then the other option was to amend the laws and begin arresting those found using illegal drugs. There was also a suggestion that the drugs should only be sold to those above 21 years and for the government to block the entry of all illegal drugs (Elfindri, 255).
The other challenge, which was sexual pervasiveness, was discussed, and there was a need for sexual education among the youths. The leading causes of this were that the youth do not get proper sexual education, so they end up doing anything they want and sharing sex partners. Therefore the main challenge here was discussed to be the lack of sexual education. Thus, it was highly encouraged that the teachers at school and the parents teach the youth about sex education and be fully open to them about the best way to get involved in these activities. The government was to be urged to provide all the necessary materials to teachers for this kind of education and provide the essential support to the teachers and the teenagers. On the side of the family, the parents were to be communicated through social media and the proper communication channels to take care of their children by teaching them about sex and engaging inappropriate sexual activity without risking their health.
The eating and sleeping disorders were highly attributed to the youth watching a lot of TV and movies. The reason for watching was attributed to them being idle. Therefore this was changing their behaviours, and it was a challenging option for them. The eating disorders are when the youth eat a lot and become obese or eat so little, therefore suffering from diseases. It was discussed, and some youths attested that being idle made them watch some movies, which made them not feel the urge to eat or rather lose appetite.
On the other hand, being idle made them watch cooking tutorials, which increased their urge to eat. They found themselves overeating and suffering from the effects of this excessive eating. Therefore this was mainly directed to the parents and the situation at home. Consequently, the parents were encouraged to make the environment at home a bit busy and teach their children about healthy eating habits.
The excessive watching of television and the use of social media was also discussed, and this was a big challenge, especially for the parents and their ability to control which sites the children used. Social media was attributed to peer pressure, which had a lot of effects on youths. Some of these effects included the need for more followers on social media accounts, resulting in them feeling good or bad. If a child has many followers, they feel good and recognized; however, they think timid and out of place if they have few followers. Therefore, parents provided all the love and necessary care to their children who are youth and reassuring them that they were loved. This is because this came out as a lack of proper love and care at home.
In conclusion, the meeting was successful. It took one and a half hours, and the deliberations made will soon be implemented, which will be a good thing for the youths. These challenges were realized during the school holidays and especially during the time of covid-19. It is hoped that what was decided will be a good thing and help the teenagers a lot.
Elfindri, Elfindri, et al. “Youth Idleness in Indonesia.” Asian Social Science 11.13 (2014): 251-259.Powers, Daniel A. “Social background and social context effects on young men’s idleness transitions.” Social science research 25.1 (1996): 50-72.