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Mayor's Youth Commission of Tacoma

 Logo 2020









The Mayor's Youth Commission was established by Resolution 40502 on December 10, 2019 to advise on policies, codes, plans, and practices through a youth-lens; providing an opportunity for youth to engage in policy making decisions and local government. The Mayor's Youth Commission is a platform for youth in Tacoma to engage their local government and be a part of the important decisions being made right now that affect them and their community.


During the first six months of 2019, students from across Tacoma came together to discuss what changes they wanted to see in Tacoma and how they would achieve those changes. After months of conversation and learning, the students elected their inaugural 10-member leadership team in June of 2019 that would guide the full commission in its work. When the leadership team was sworn in, they were leading a Youth Commission of 70 Tacoma students. 


The membership of the Youth Commission includes all members who have applied and have been added to the official roster by the staff liaison. Students interested in applying can use the link below. Any student in middle or high school is eligible to apply so long as they either live or attend school in Tacoma. Once you are added to the roster, you will receive regular emails from the staff liaison. 



Mayor and Commission


Mayor Woodards and Members of the Youth Commission on election day, June 2019


"The Tacoma Mayor's Youth Commission is changing the way Tacoma governs! The youth voice, celebrated through this open, project-based group of young people, is central. Tacoma is listening to the Commission. Tacoma is listening to the youth. And you can be a part of the change. Apply below if you live or go to school in Tacoma and want to make real change in your community!" -Rosemary Sissel, Commission Chair


Apply to Join the Mayor's Youth Commission of Tacoma


Follow the Mayors Youth Commission on Instagram!


Check out links to other important MYCT Pages 


Current Leadership Team

The leadership team of the Youth Commission includes the Chair and Vice-Chair of each of the four committees, and the Commission Chair and Commission Vice-Chair who represent the leadership team and the Youth Commission when in the community and before the City Council. The leadership may at times appoint ad-hoc committee leaders for specific purposes, but these members do not have the same powers as the elected chairs. 


Leadership Team 2

Leadership Team 3


The 2022-2023 Leadership Team 


Name and Position

 Council   District


Tara Ryan, Chair District 1

Foss High School

Tara Zolfaghari,
Vice Chair
Outside City Limits  Steilacoom High School / Pierce College
Chloe Mau,
Justice & Safety Chair
District 3 Bellarmine Preparatory

Leo Maffei,

Social Health Chair

Outside City Limits iDEA

Beyla Kisembo,

Social Health Vice Chair

Outside City Limits Curtis High School

Ellana Meas,

Education, Arts & Culture Co-Chair

District 5  Science and Math Institute

Anastasia Markham,

Environmental Health Chair

District 1 Science and Math Institute

Theo Wygle,

Environmental Health
Vice Chair 

District 3 Science and Math Institute

Ava Sims,

Education, Arts & Culture Co-Chair

District 3 Foss High School


Leadership Team Goals 2021-2022

Each year the elected leadership team chooses priorities for the whole Youth Commission to focus on. Each committee works together to achieve these goals as well as their own focused priorities. 



The Committees

The Mayor's Youth Commission is organized into four committees that guide the work they want to do in Tacoma. Each is led by a Chair and Co-Chair elected by their committee, and are coordinated by the Commission Chair and Vice-Chair. Ad-hoc committee chairs when created are included below. Ad-hoc chairs are appointed by the leadership team and serve until the committee's purpose is fulfilled. 



Justice and Safety Committee (J&S)

The Justice and Safety Committee strives to empower Tacomans to know their rights, improve school safety for students, and improve the safety for all Tacomans throughout the City. 


Priorities for J&S Committee for 2021-2022:


Goal #1: To distribute information regarding teen homelessness to 200 Tacoma residents by July 2022. Surveys will be used to determine future improvements for helping Tacomans understand the importance of teen homelessness.


Goal #2: To reach at least 5% of homeless teens, providing them with resources to help with clothing, food, transportation, and etc. In order to measure how many students are reached, we will keep an anonymous check-in log (using initials instead of full names). 


Goal #3: To increase the self-esteem, well-being, and identity of at least 10% of homeless teens. Quantitative surveys will be used both before and after participation in our program to evaluate any changes in a healthy attitude towards themselves. 


Goal #4 (optional): To bring awareness to the issue of teen homelessness in Tacoma high schools through educational campaigns directed by student leaders in each school with the end goal of educating their peers and encouraging involvement in their community.


Social Health Committee (SH)

The Social  Health Committee focuses on student mental health, and programs that create social cohesion in communities.  

  • Currently in Development



Environmental Health Committee 

The Environmental Committee focuses on advocating for environmental awareness and protecting Tacoma’s natural surroundings.

Priorities for EH Committee for 2022-2023:

  • Currently in Development



Education, Arts and Culture Committee (EA&C)

The Education, Arts and Culture Committee focuses on strengthening educational outcomes and partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, and creating opportunities for youth to share their art and culture in their schools and city.  

  • Currently in Development



Documents and Media

Article, Centering Youth in Local Government 

Q13 News Clip on the First Elections, June 15, 2019

Resolution Formally Establishing the Mayor's Youth Commission of Tacoma

Youth Commission Bylaws as of November 13, 2019 

Support for Peaceful Protests sent to Governor Inslee 


Staff Support

Staffing support to the Mayor's Youth Commission is provided by the City Manager's Office



General Assembly

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Third Saturday of each month


Graduate Tacoma

919 S. 9th Street,

Tacoma, WA 98405



Leadership Team Meeting
4:30PM - 6PM

First and Third Wednesday of each month

Graduate Tacoma

919 S. 9th Street,

Tacoma, WA 98405



Youth Commission Coordinator

Leandra Shelton

Contact the youth commission coordinator with questions, or requests of the Youth Commission

City Staff Liaison

Cathy Sims
Contact the City staff contact for records, documents, and meeting information