Why tonight’s Hopewell’s City Council meeting is worth the drive

Jasmine Gore made history as Hopewell’s youngest ever City Council member, elected at just 26. Now, she’s pushing for more opportunities for young people to get involved.

Head down to Hopewell tonight if you’re interested in seeing local governments attempt meaningful change.

Tonight, the City Council votes to bring back their office on youth, something that other municipalities have (Richmond has one, so does Chesterfield and Petersburg), and something that’s been proven to engage the generation that will end up living the city’s future.

Jasmine Gore, Hopewell’s youngest council member (ever), constantly apologizes for how carried away she feels like she’s getting when she talks about the role youth could have in city governance. The truth is, though, her enthusiasm and passion on the subject is more convincing than just reading the stats.

“We’ve had a lot of shootings recently in Hopewell, and the majority of them have been by youth. And it’s kind of like, look, you don’t really have anything for them to do or anything to interest them, so they’re going to continue to get in trouble,” Gore insists. “We can’t just sit here and have this environment for these children.”

“This is my generation.”

After helping to start a youth commission in a local high school, Gore was encouraged by the students’ response. “It’s amazing to see how many children wanted to be on the commission. People were shocked that they felt that way, but it’s like “Why are you shocked? It’s been like this. This is my generation. We’ve always wanted to have a voice, but we didn’t know how to do it.”

Among the festivities tonight are a marching band performance and a reading by seventh-grader and public housing resident Na’Seem Hopson, who won a statewide “If I Were Mayor” essay.

Head down to Hopewell to see history being made–and show your support for youth being advocates, joining the comprehensive planning process, helping with long-range vision, and becoming engaged and committed to their community.

Photo by: Nathan Gilliatt

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