IBA’s Youth Organizers Actively Defend Youth Jobs Funding
IBA believes in the importance of youth jobs, they offer opportunities for young people to support their assets and build others, provide structure, responsibility, and build upon professionalism.
IBA’s youth, from 13 to 19 years old, have formed a group which is part of the Youth Jobs Coalition. They receive political education, they learn about their communities, and how all of their lives are impacted by the systems in which they navigate: school, government, police.
“Like most young people, I appreciate having a youth job because I can support myself and be able to buy the things I need for my college education,” said Sara Mendez a Peer Leader at IBA and student at Wheelock College. “Once I started working at IBA the meaning of having a job changed completely, my interest in working changed from just getting a paycheck to an interest of acquiring knowledge and experience.”
The Youth Organizers are also involved in many different campaigns around the city of Boston fighting for funding of youth jobs.
“Every year the state house gives us the budget, and consecutively every year there are budget cuts,” said Michal Shapiro, the Youth Program Coordinator. “So, we organize youth and adult allies to prioritize youth jobs.”
This year, the budget was at level funding while minimum wage had gone up, “this means that there is a loss of jobs, people are being paid more and there is the same budget,” said Shapiro. In essence, if the budget that was allocated for youth jobs remains the same as last year while minimum wage goes up, they will be able to afford to pay less people. Thus, 35 youth organizers from IBA, St. Stephen’s, YJC, BYSN organized to meet with Statehouse Representative Byron Rushing, a continued champion for youth jobs.
It was a successful meeting and Representative Rushing committed to co-sponsoring an amendment to support youth jobs level funding and to attend the Budget Caucus at the Statehouse on Monday, April 27th. In addition, he advised the Youth Coalition to start organizing youth to set-up briefing meetings at the State House in support of the Justice Reinvestment Act which aims for criminal justice reforms, “Jobs not jails.”
These are all campaigns that IBA’s youth is actively engaged in going to rallies, marches, and partaking in action at the statehouse. This April 27th IBA’s youth will be there at the budget caucus, “to put pressure on the politicians, to say this is what matters,” said Shapiro.
IBA’s youth encourages everybody to come and participate in creative action, “the more numbers you have, the better. Numbers directly correlate with power.”
We invite you to come take action along with IBA’s youth and fight for a fair youth jobs budget, April 27th, 4:00 PM at the Statehouse, 24 Beacon Street.