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Mayor’s Cabinet on Youth
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 – 3:00 p.m.

Present: Mayor Brown, Pete Haga, John Packett, Candy Kimball-Iverson, JerryYoungberg.

I. Introductions.

The cabinet welcomed new members Candy Kimball-Iverson and Jerry Youngberg. Kimball-Iverson is representing State of ND – NE Human Services and Youngberg is the 2009 Chamber of Commerce President.

II. Youth Commission Report

Haga reported that the Youth Commission has been meeting regularly and are working hard to pull together two dances, one for high school and one for middle school. The dances are scheduled for middle school on Friday, May 9 and High School on Saturday, May 10. The students are responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the dance including scheduling the deejay, securing the facility, etc. He gave a brief history of last year’s middle school dance that was held at the Gambucci Arena and stated that this year there was a scheduling conflict so they were not able to use that facility this year. He added that at the Commission meeting the YMCA had volunteered their facility for this year’s dance at no cost. Haga commented that is a great example of how the Cabinet and Commission can benefit each other to make positive things happen for youth.

Haga explained that the Commission also decided to adopt the “It’s Not O.K.” theme for their dances, as they are a good example of a positive event that youth can do that is alcohol free. The Commission decided to have breathalyzers available for the event and will be decorating with posters that emphasize the theme.

III. It’s Not O.K. Campaign

Haga reported that there have been two Town Hall meetings so far and both included youth speaking out on their views against underage drinking and was great to have that participation. There are more Town Hall meetings coming up and encouraged cabinet members to check them out.

In addition the It’s Not O.K. group is still discussing hosting a large youth event prior to Prom season as an added influence away from alcohol. They are also working with the National Night Out Committee in becoming part of that night’s activities.

One area that the group has not tapped into yet but plans to work with is the liquor distributors and hospitality industry and seems that both of those groups have been very supportive of the campaign just need to make the contacts and get them involved. Haga commented that those groups also have in the past had some funding available to support efforts that educate and discourage underage drinking. He continued that the plan is to bring them in especially for the efforts pre-prom and maybe also to support billboard and PSA costs.

Mayor Brown commented that the billboards and PSA’s are great, but youth show more interest in events. Kimball-Iverson suggested perhaps working with the Ralph Englestad Arena on getting some space on their electronic billboard as they have done this for other positive events such as 1st Night.

IV. 100 Best Communities for Young People Grant

Haga distributed a copy of the America’s Promise Grant application that was submitted on behalf of the City. He explained for the new members that this is the 3rd straight year the City has been designated as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by the America’s Promise Organization, which is very special for our community, as only 33 other communities nationwide were similarly designated. He continued that this is the result of the hard work of the cabinet members and their agencies.

Haga reviewed the elements of the grant application which will include a “youth idol” competition potentially with finals tied into a 1st Night activity.

Jerry Youngberg suggested sending out notice of this award to all the realtors and also putting it in the Chamber’s newsletter, The Voice, which is now electronically posted and distributed. He stated that a number of people review it as a means to find out about our community and good information for the business people to pass on to their customers. Haga will get information and logos to the Chamber for them to use.

V. Other

The group discussed future meeting dates and set the next meeting for Wednesday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. in Room A101 at City Hall. They also set a Joint Meeting with the Youth Commission for May 14 at Noon in Council Chambers. Cabinet members recalled that it was very energizing to visit with the Youth and get their input on issues and may be good kickoff into summer.

VI. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sherie Lundmark