Albany Youth Council & Community Outreach

Victoria Burgess, Melanie Guan, Alex Li

Members of the Albany Youth Council branch of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville (LWVBAE) from Albany High School led the League’s outreach efforts at the 2024 Albany Community Expo on Saturday, April 27th. They were joined by over 50 other community-based organizations and city departments who showed up at the Albany Community Center on the warm spring day to showcase their programs and services.

This effort was organized largely by the Youth Council presidents, Alex Li and Victoria Burgess, who have also been involved with the LWVBAE through internships and other positions. From the hours of 10 am to 2 pm, these young volunteers caught the attention of passersby through trivia about the history of the LWV and a bowl of candy. Through these tactics, they were able to share information about what the League and its Youth Council do, and hand out flyers for others to get involved in LWVBAE projects. When asked about what the Youth Council wanted to achieve through the Expo, Victoria answered, “Well, we mostly wanted others to see how young people interested in policy engaged in our community and connect adults interested in policy to the LWVBAE”.

This emphasis on young people being involved in politics and advocacy has been an important focus for the Albany Youth Council throughout the ‘23-‘24 academic year, their second year since being founded. Members of the Youth Council have worked hard to increase civic engagement at Albany High School through presentations, voter registration drives, volunteering for events such as the Albany Community Expo, and more.

Community Outreach illustration 2Additionally, there has been a drastic increase of students under the age of 16 joining the Youth Council this year, making up over 50% of Youth Council members. One of these members is Margaret Montag, a current freshman at Albany High, who was present at the Community Expo. “It was neat to see what other advocacy was going on in the community, and I had a few good conversations with some former and current League members who were there,” Margaret said about her experience at the Expo. Margaret joined the Youth Council due to her interest in politics, and is happy to say that she’s really enjoyed learning more about how local government works and how it affects our daily lives.

Overall, the Albany Youth Council’s efforts at the Community Expo were a success. Although the organization is winding down for the end of the school year and many of its members will be graduating, they are far from done with their work, especially with the elections coming this fall. Margaret and the other younger members of the Youth Council are key to the future of the League and increasing civic engagement among teens their age.

–Elaine Zhang

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