It’s been five months since the launch of the Millennial Advisory Committee, a cohort of Philadelphians ages 23 to 34 intent on informing the city how it can better serve them and their peers.
The goal is to shape policy that makes the city more hospitable for its current millennial population and to attract new young people.
So far, the group has hosted monthly meetings for its members, the first few of which were spent “building out our infrastructure” and determining focus areas which will be discussed by policy subcommittees, said Nicole Allen White, committee chair and director of government and external affairs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Three focus areas have emerged:
- Financial futures — Issues related to jobs, financial literacy, healthcare and student debt
- Social justice — Issues related to reentry and mass incarceration, including stop-and-frisk
- Neighborhood change — Issues related to gentrification and community ties
Every other month, the group’s meetings are public and hosted in a different neighborhood — so far it’s hit Brewerytown and Fishtown, with an intent on stopping by Manayunk in August — usually at a local rec center “to connect with millennials in those neighborhoods,” Allen White said.
“‘Millennial’ is not a socioeconomic status but an age generation, so we’re working to not only focus on issues of Center City millennials, but in neighborhoods around the city,” she said.
Right now, said Allen White, who served on Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team, the group is trying to determine where its voices would be most effective in shaping future policy.
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For instance, the financial futures subcommittee conducted a survey about millennial employment and is now parsing through the results to figure out what to do with the information. The neighborhood change subcommittee is considering ways it can connect millennials with their local community development corporations to help the CDCs build out their digital efforts.
The group will produce a report next February of what it’s accomplished and its recommendations for how the administration can support its work. Committee members will have the option to renew their memberships for up to another year, after which new members will be selected.
In addition to Allen White, here are the members of the first Millennial Advisory Committee (minus two members who dropped out):
- Fatima Baig, teacher, Prince Hall Elementary
- Brandi Baldwin-Rana, PhD, founder, Millennial Ventures
- Nigel Charles, community development assistant, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
- Alexis De La Rosa, assistant resident director, University of Pennsylvania PENNCAP
- Julian Domanico, fundraising and development consultant, The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia
- Michelle Feldman, executive director, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful
- Terrell Green, theatre artist and master class facilitator, and health educator for Public Health Management Corporation
- Penda Howell, marketing and membership associate, The Energy Cooperative
- Joe Lee, management consultant, North Highland Worldwide Consulting
- Steven McFarland, teacher, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School
- Sebastian Ramirez, radiologic rechnologist, Jefferson Urgent Care and Pennsylvania Hospital
- David Rosenblum, owner, Dave Rose Photography
- Jasmine Sadat, deputy director — Southeast region, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
- Kyle Shenandoah, office manager and senior tax specialist, H&R Block
- Patrick Sherlock, director of university relations and student engagement, Campus Philly
- Raymond Smeriglio, assistant director of athletics development, Temple University Athletics
- Alonzo South, senior manager of strategic planning and new business development, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Dafina Williams, VP of public policy, Opportunity Finance Network