August 2020
Backgrounder
AMO’s Youth Engagement Strategy was approved by the AMO Executive in November 2018. The Strategy is guided by the following objectives:
  • Establish programs that provide young Ontarians with the tools to participate in municipal government, including participation through elected office.
  • Connect and profile existing youth-focused initiatives in Ontario’s municipal sector.
  • Use communications and social media platforms to expand AMO’s reach to youth.
As part of the Strategy, AMO launched the Youth Fellows Program in January of 2020. The program brought on three municipally and politically engaged youth to work alongside the AMO Board and staff during 2020: Raghed Al-Areibi from the City of London, Emilie Leneveu from the City of Belleville, and Graham Taylor from the Township of Chatsworth. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the three inaugural fellows term has been extended for an additional year.

The Fellows have been attending AMO Board and Executive meetings, participating in AMO Working Groups and Task Forces, and taking part in a mentorship program with municipal elected officials on AMO’s Executive Committee.

The 2020 AMO mentors are Graydon Smith, Mayor of the Town of Bracebridge, Lynn Dollin, Mayor of the Town of Innisfil and Anna Hopkins, Councillor of the City of London. The Fellows are also participating in the 2020 AMO Virtual Conference by creating podcasts focused on economic recovery including interviews with municipal leaders. As part of the annual conference, AMO will also be hosting its second Young Elected Officials’ networking session. AMO’s Youth Advisory Council, made up of young municipal elected officials, continues to inform our youth engagement work and to provide advice to the AMO Executive and Board on implementing the Youth Engagement Strategy.

In addition, AMO has partnered with ONWARD, an initiative involving AMO and a number of Ontario’s municipal organizations focused on attracting young professionals into the municipal sector.