RED WING— It’s been a long time coming, but the Youth Commission now has a full roster of members.

In ninth grade, Alainn Hanson attended a youth convention as part of the larger National League of Cities convention in Washington, D.C. While there Hanson saw that most of the participating students were part of an official youth council or commission.

“I was inspired to start something like this in Red Wing after recognizing the lack of young voices in our local government,” she said.

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Hanson is now a senior and will serve on the Youth Commission during her final semester at Red Wing High School.

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On Monday, Nov. 9, the Red Wing City Council voted to appoint 11 Red Wing youth to the commission:

  • Molly Bradley — Grade 11

  • Deyahni Cooper — Grade 9

  • Devon Copley — Grade 8

  • Alainn Hanson — Grade 12

  • Rachel Hauschildt — Grade 12

  • Kayleigh Hoppman — Grade 10

  • Matthew Lu — Grade 11

  • Gavin Magill — Grade 8

  • Allie Meyer — Grade 9

  • Nora Meyer — Grade 9

  • Kaylee Snider — Grade 10

Mayor Sean Dowse, Michelle Leise and Helen Korbel, the staff liaison for the commission, reviewed candidate applications and conducted interviews.

“I was looking at how engaged the students had been in student life and community life. I was looking for highlights of engagement," Dowse said, adding, “In the interviews, I was looking for folks who had ideas, who were thinking beyond where they were personally.”

Once the commission members were announced, the Republican Eagle reached-out to the 11 members to hear why the students think the Youth Commission is important. Respondents said:

  • I think the youth commission is important is because the minors get a say in Red Wing government — Magill

  • I think it is important because students need to become more involved in their community. We need students to become politically and community active, because it directly affects their life in some way. — Copley

  • I think a youth commission is Important in Red Wing because there will always be room for improvement in any city, and taking in the fresh eyes of kids to reach greater heights is something we haven’t tried yet, and something that would provide a new perspective to the adults whom we’d work with. — Snider

  • The youth is the future! Everything that happens now will affect us either in a positive way or a negative way. So why not hear what they have to say now instead of waiting till they are in charge. — Hoppman

The members all have topics or issues that they hope to cover with the commission, including law enforcement and aiding families and students during the pandemic.

Before the members decide which topic or topics to look at in 2021, they will need to take time to create bylaws, select a president and vice president, and lay the groundwork for the commission.

The commission' s first official meeting is tentatively proposed to be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8.