Two Deerfield teenagers will soon have a voting role in Deerfield government as members of the Community Relations Commission.
Becoming the first governmental entity in Illinois to offer people not yet of voting age a fully fledged policy making role, two high school students from Deerfield will become members of the Community Relations Commission. The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Commission’s recommendation at Monday’s Board meeting.
This opportunity is open not only to teens from Deerfield High School, but all secondary education students in the community whether they go to Deerfield, Chicagoland Jewish High School, another private institution or are home schooled.
One student will be a sophomore and the other a junior, according to Community Relations Commission member Gil Antakol. Applications are available on the Village’s website.
“We are the first community in the state to allow a non voter (teenager under 18) to become part of the political process in a government program,” Antakol said. “This is an excellent thing for Deerfield and the youth of the Village.”
The Commission, like other Village commissions, considers potential legislation for the Trustees and votes whether to recommend those ideas or not. Some of the things which have been done in the past include a brochure for seniors and programs for special needs youth who are beyond school age, according to Mayor Harriet Rosenthal.
“This is a great way for young people to get involved in government as well as being a voice for teens in the Community Relations Council,” Rosenthal said.
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