Louisville’s first Metro Youth Cabinet meets to help prevent violence in the city

The city’s first Metro Youth Cabinet met Saturday to strategize recommendations to advise Mayor Craig Greenberg and Metro Council on issues.
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 11:39 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville youth are working to make their communities safer.

The city’s first Metro Youth Cabinet met Saturday to strategize recommendations to advise Mayor Craig Greenberg and Metro Council on issues like violence, social equity and inclusion.

Their goal is to find solutions to make the city better for everyone.

When it comes to the issues impacting the youth here in Louisville, no one knows better than the youth themselves.

That’s why the 26 young people in the cabinet are taking their responsibilities so seriously.

Mayor Craig Greenberg has made it clear he wants to reduce violence in Louisville, especially among the youth.

To do it, he has called on the help of 26 youth from age 16 to 21 in the city’s first Metro Youth Cabinet.

“Well if we want progress in our city, if we want our gun violence to go down, if we want our cars to stop getting stolen it is time for us to have an actual youth representative at the table,” Metro Youth Cabinet member Zion Smith said. “One who can actually connect with the youth who is actually dealing with those issues themselves.”

The members consists of young people representing every district to give a perspective on what’s happening in their communities.

“It’s kind of a cool thing to see everyone because it shows the whole community kind of coming together on this issue,” Metro Youth Cabinet member Charlie Fitzgerald said. “We’re all working together and picking each others brain to figure out what the issues are and how we can fix them.”

The consensus: kids just want to feel safe and secure and until they do, they feel the crime and violence will continue.

“When somebody doesn’t feel safe at their home it effects so many things,” Fitzgerald said. “They’re stressed for school and when they’re stressed for school they don’t succeed at school and then the cycle will continue.”

“Let’s have them actually go play outside with their friends instead of being scared of a stray bullet and making sure that we’re working with our community partners and our neighborhoods to make sure district 15 is safer,” Smith said.

One of the solutions on their minds is meaningful programming. People like Smith believe youth development programs shouldn’t have to compete for funding.

Instead, he believes helpful groups should be rewarded so they all can help end generations of poverty.

“What’s happening within our city is that there is this generation of poverty. I myself am a victim of that, I grew up homeless for the majority of my life,” Smith said. “So being able to cut the cycle so that I have a future and my kids can have a future, that matters a lot.”

The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods says they’re looking forward to this important collaboration.

Especially this week during their version of the National Youth Violence Prevention Week.