Utica's First Ever Youth Common Council Sworn In

Utica's First Ever Youth Common Council Sworn In

The city of Utica got a fresh new crop of leaders Thursday night. The first ever Youth Common Council was sworn in by Mayor Robert Palmieri at City Hall.
The city of Utica got a fresh new crop of leaders Thursday night. The first ever Youth Common Council was sworn in by Mayor Robert Palmieri at City Hall.
Tonight's inauguration ceremony marked a first in the history of both New York State and the city of Utica.
Seven students from Procter High School were sworn in showing their commitment to the community and their fellow youth.
"I hope that we encourage other youth in Utica to be involved and have a voice in our government,” said Kalisha Lockhart, Councilwoman for the 3rd ward.
Lockhart says the ceremony filled her and her fellow councilmen with excitement and pride after working on forming the council for over a year now.
"This means just about everything to me because me and Delvin have been talking about something like this since we were probably in tenth grade,” said Lockhart.
Delvin Moody is the president of the Youth Common Council and the reason the governing body even exists. He says he came up with the idea because young kids in the city need to see a change.
"I saw that our city had a need, that our city needed to effect change, that our city needed to push forward and move forward,” said Moody. “I got tired of my friends saying there's nothing to do so I said I'm going to be a part of the change and make things happen in the city of Utica for the youth."
The Youth Common Council will meet twice a month in the Common Council Chambers and their meetings will be structured exactly like the City Common Council's.
For some of the students, being part of the council is the first step towards a future in politics.
"One day I hope to be maybe governor or even secretary of state or secretary general for the United Nations,” said Trinh Truong, Councilperson at Large.
Some just want to make a difference.
"Just getting a positive outlook and people looking up to me and little kids coming up to me saying oh I know who you are and you're like oh that’s cool,” said Youth Common Council Secretary and Clerk Diana Mims.
And others are following in the footsteps of family. Tyraya Mckinsey's father serves on the city common council.
"My dad, he's a councilman but he doesn't know what's going on with the youth,” said McKinsey.

"This is really exciting, one it's New York State History, it is the City of Utica history and it's family history,” said Jerome Mckinsey, Tyraya’s father and City Councilman.
Each member of the new Youth Common Council received a signed certificate from Governor Andrew Cuomo. They say they hope to expand the council with more young people from the city.

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