Check out this video of COYAC members answering questions during an interview with Rocky Mountain PBS’ Coloardo State of Mind:
What does COYAC stand for?
The Colorado Youth Advisory Council
How long has COYAC been around?
Representative Ellen Roberts sponsored legislation in 2008 (CO HB 08-1157) to establish a youth advisory council for the state legislature. Colorado is one of ten states that have created legislative youth advisory councils. Maine was the first state to do so, in 2002.
How are the youth members and General Assembly members selected?
The Colorado Youth Advisory Council is open to Colorado youth between ages 14 and 19, who have the ability to serve on the council for a two year term. 40 young people between the ages of 14 and 19 serve on the council, representing the 35 state senate districts, and 5 at-large seats to ensure diversity on the council. The Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, each appoint one member to COYAC, and the President and minority leader of the Senate each appoint one member to COYAC.
Who runs COYAC?
The youth members do! The COYAC is intended to be a youth-led Council within the framework outlined by the enabling legislation, which provides guidance for leadership and structure. The council elects a Youth Co-Chair, Youth Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer who serve with a Legislative Co-Chair and Legislative Vice-Chair to lead the council. Engaged Public is the managing firm for this program and helps determine policy priorities, develop a work plan, fundraise, produce the annual reports, and the manage the COYAC web page.
How can I contact my youth representative?
Write a comment below their picture here.
What is the role of council members?
Members of the Colorado Youth Advisory Council have the unique opportunity to shape Colorado’s future by bringing the voice of youth to the capital. Members conduct forums, surveys, and community meetings around the state to gather input from youth. Approximately once every three months the council meets to discuss the legislation and policy issues affecting Colorado. Twice during the Legislative term, members meet with state legislators, the Governor, and other public officials to share ideas and perspectives.
What is the time commitment of members on the council?
Along with attending the four meetings of the council every year, members participate in online forums and discussions, conference calls, and other meetings with each other and members of the community to provide youth voice. Council members often spend 2-3 hours a week on COYAC related projects.
How do I apply?
Visit our Become a Member Page to learn how to apply!