A mayor we will catalyze the MOST YOUTH ENGAGEMENT IN AUSTIN’s HISTORY.
First of all, I believe strongly that children deserve the right to vote. At least by the age of 10-12. I
believe they are capable of being involved in our society as key and equal partners in our absolute
vitality. This right given to them will change the way we educate them, as to give them more recognition
for their value since the moment they enter into our world.
More Time, More Respect – I believe once we shift our emphasis towards the children as our most
cherished people, we will raise generations of healthier, happier, more productive, more creative,
innovative and spirited human beings. This will in turn have a quantum effect on the evolution of
humanity. They are literally the continuation of our seed of consciousness, and to focus on them as the
imperative does not detract from any adult, in fact it enhances all ages’ experience.
Councils – We propose adding two additional seats to the City Council, each seat comprised of a council
of 12. In total we would add 24 people.
Council of Youth – This council of youth would be selected and voted for by all children under age 18,
and any old enough to read and write. (there may be very innovative ways of even allowing toddlers and
babies to vote, the community can decide once they are given all the options) This council of 12 children
will be given the authority of 1 vote on all council decisions.
Council of Elders – Elders play a different and equally important role, in their ability to process a spirit of
youth through a wealth of experiential wisdom. This council of 12 is also crucial in the healthy function
of our society, and sadly for our culture, we have currently display a general neglect for the value of our
elders. We are here to help change that.
Please note: these recommendations on new council seats are just one modality of how it could
ultimately manifest. I am not rigid on exact means, just committed to making sure we respect our entire
tribe the people’s authority.
Open Source Innovation Portal – This would be a portal for youth (or anyone) to upload ideas on how to
solve problems with infrastructure or city operations. Imagine it like a video game (Sims + Google Earth
+ IBM Watson + Virtual Reality). For example, any person could use the past and projected traffic
patterns data and model the probable outcomes of a transportation solution they design in the game.
Once they are satisfied with their design, they can publish it in the public forum, where people can
interact with open source modifications, commentary, and voting mechanisms to assess community
support. This would be a new hub where we can incentivize civic innovation in an automated,
decentralized way. Quite literally, with this ‘game’, a 10 year old could solve our traffic woes.
Network of Cooperative & Incentivized Apprenticeships – Education needs to be more hands on. I
genuinely believe that by the age of 13-16 (or earlier), our youth should have been already well versed
in classical education and foundational knowledge of physics, math, biology, arts, civics and
communications. By now, they have dreams of their own and clarity on how to manifest them, but our
institutionalized system of standardized testing holds them back and deflates their motivations. One
way to evolve our learning is by way of apprenticeships working alongside community masters. For
example, a young person who displays an aptitude for applied materials innovations, it makes sense for
them to spend time where they love doing so, in the lab creating solutions. This education will yield
more passionate engagement, and an equally nurturing opportunity for the mentors to gain fresh
perspective on the topic at hand. If they get tired of that after 6 months, no problem, let them do
something else, until they find what they love. Simply put, let them go where they want to be. This
model can be applied to lifelong learning. Economically it will quicken innovation, and develop more
prepared and skillful leaders for our rapidly-changing world. We imagine a city where EVERY person’s
potential can be unleashed and where EVERYONE has equal access to every self-development resource,
a city of 1,000,000+(2,3,4…) truly free innovators.