On November 6, 2000, Mayor Anthony A. Williams sponsored The City Is Mine Youth Summit in order for DC youth to advise him of their critical needs and the actions that should be taken in making DC a place where youth can thrive. During the Youth Summit, over 1,400 DC youth provided recommendations, giving voice in identifying three priority issues that included Employment & Training, Public Safety, and Education. The youth also expressed an overwhelming need to have an ongoing voice in the decision-making processes related to issues that impact them.
In keeping with what was becoming a growing trend, the youth recommended the creation of more youth-adult partnerships, like a youth council. This council would provide youth’s perspectives to key decision makers in the District of Columbia Government, as well as other adult leaders. Mayor Williams endorsed this recommendation and requested a proposal to form a DCYAC.
On May 5, 2001, a proposal for the creation of a DCYAC was prepared by the Youth Summit Advisory Board, which was comprised of youth. The proposal was developed based on a site visit to Portland, Oregon, and Hampton, Virginia, where a successful youth councils have been in place. After careful and extensive deliberation, the Board adapted many of the ideas and concepts from these other youth councils to meet the unique needs of the District of Columbia.
On May 7, 2001, the Board submitted its proposal to establish a DC Youth Advisory Council to Mayor Williams. A Public Hearing before the Committee on Government Operations of the Council of the District of Columbia, under Committee Chairman Vincent B. Orange, Sr., was held on November 30, 2001. On March 5, 2002, the first reading of the bill was held with success. The second reading of the bill was held on April 22, 2002, with a unanimous decision (13-0) in favor of the legislation. The “District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council Act of 2002” was signed on April 22, 2002, by Mayor Anthony A. Williams and DC Council Chairwoman Linda W. Cropp. It was transmitted to the United States Congress on May 3, 2002, for a 30-day Congressional review. The Act became DC Law 14-145, effective June 25, 2002.