The Summer at City Hall youth program wrapped up for the season last Friday with students participating in a mock Merced City Council meeting, followed by a graduation ceremony.
On the dais, young council members considered homeless issues locally and across the state, and discussed possible solutions. At one point the floor was opened up to public comments, and fellow students along with adult city staff members joined in to offer views for the young leaders to consider.
In the end, the unofficial youth council decided to pursue a “housing first program” in order to get struggling residents off the streets regardless of their situation.
Throughout the summer program, the participating high school students learned about the intricacies of running a city, and the work that goes on to keep local government and public services functioning.
Students were given behind the scenes tours of various city departments including Fire, Finance, Information Technology, Wastewater Treatment, among others.
Graduates were honored by former City Councilman Josh Pedrozo, who helped lead the summer program, Mayor Mike Murphy, and Mary Robinson of Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union.