Our Bill of Rights: Children & Youth
In May 2005, former Portland Mayor Tom Potter and former Multnomah County Commissioner Diane Linn met with more than 100 children and youth from the Portland metropolitan area. Their goal was to find out, directly from youth, how they described their rights.
After this event, a highly motivated group took the question to heart and began the task of developing "Our Bill of Rights, Children and Youth." After speaking with more than 3,000 children and youth, this team created a Bill of Rights that reflected the values, dreams and aspirations of the youth in our community. In June 2006, at the Convention on the Rights of Children, more than 500 youth, came together to ratify "Our Bill of Rights, Children and Youth."
In August 2006, the City of Portland became the first city in the nation to adopt a Bill of Rights, written by and supporting, children and youth. In that historic moment, the City of Portland acknowledged that children and youth have rights and made the commitment to uphold those rights. Several months later, Multnomah County reinforced the regions commitment to youth by adopting the Bill.
Since that time, "Our Bill of Rights, Children and Youth," has served to guide the development of City and County policies. It serves as a constant reminder of the vital role children and youth play in shaping the future of their communities. The document holds public officials accountable to protecting children's welfare and gives youth a concrete resource and tool to draw attention to their interests.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County remain committed to keeping the Children's Bill of Rights project truly authentic and valuable.
Multnomah Youth Commission has co-led with Mayor's Office and the County Chair’s Office the development of “Our Bill of Rights: Children & Youth.” The Youth Commission helped organize youth involvement in this project and helped ensure adoption of the Bill of Rights at City Council and the County Board. Involvement in the Bill of Rights has included:
- City and County inventory of youth involvement and engagement efforts with formal reports to City Council and County Board.
- YouthVOTE!: Implement the Bill of Rights by engaging youth in local elections.
- YouthPASS: Committee, working with the City of Portland, Portland Public Schools, Multnomah County, and Trimet to get free public transportation for all you.
- Education: Working on improving academic and life success
- Budget Advocacy: Make sure both the City and County fund the programs and support necessary to make Multnomah County/Portland a nation’s leader in innovative youth engagement strategies and citizen involvement.