As Pam Iorio takes office as Tampa’s new mayor, she promises the community she will start a youth corps. This decision is a step in the right direction for Iorio, as she recognizes that Tampa’s youth are “not only the future, (they) are the present.”
At her inauguration ceremony Tuesday, she invited four young people to speak, allowing them to tell her what problems they feel need to be fixed.
According to the 2000 census, almost 25 percent of Tampa residents are under the age of 18. Combining that figure with the number of college-age students in the city shows that the city’s youth make up a large percentage of Tampa’s population.
Further, when the youth become adults, they will be the ones holding offices and leading the city’s businesses. Now and in the future, as Iorio pointed out, youth play an important role in the city and others should recognize this. It’s commendable that Iorio sees this and has plans to involve them in her decision-making.
Students should see Iorio’s plan for establishing a youth corps as a chance to help govern their city.
On election day, when Iorio first mentioned she wanted to start a youth corps, she said politics is about ideas, and she encouraged the youth to help make their community better.
The USF student population is quite large, and, by working together with the mayor, can play a part in shaping the city’s future. Anyone who is interested in getting involved in the community can take this opportunity to work with the mayor in the youth corps. It’s important for students to become invested in the area in which they may later live and work.
The new mayor of Tampa sees the community’s youth for how valuable they are, and now it’s up to the area’s youth to take the opportunity. When there is a way for Tampa’s young people to have a say in the decisions being made in the city, they would be wise to take advantage of it.