Skip to main content

SF City Supervisor Katy Tang on her Youth Council



SF District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang

San Francisco City Supervisor Katy Tang recently invited me to be a part of her Youth Council, so I asked if I might interview her for my blog. Ms. Tang represents District 4 and was gracious to answer my questions.

What inspired you to create the Youth Council? What do you hope it will achieve?

I was inspired to create the Youth Council because I met so many students who wanted to get involved in our community.  Through participation on the Youth Council, I hope that students will learn more about how the city operates and how city government works to address issues, such as housing, homelessness, public safety, and beyond. I hope that each participant will make new friends, continue to serve as a leader in our community, and inspire others to become active and engaged residents.

What kinds of projects or policies have SF youth spearheaded in the past?

Youth in San Francisco have worked on amazing initiatives in the past. Whether I have agreed with the policies or not, I have loved seeing the sophisticated policy work and dialogue that have been spearheaded by youth. These initiatives include successfully advocating for free Muni service for youth, putting forth a ballot campaign to allow youth to vote starting at age 16, and ensuring that we have a robust dialogue around immigration policies that impact youth.

What were you like as a San Francisco middle schooler when you attended Hoover (which I attend now!)?  Did you already have an interest in government? What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

When I was in middle school, I was still quite shy and did not like speaking up in class or sharing my opinion about anything. However, I did participate in student government all three years while I was at Hoover, and I loved being able to contribute to our school community in that way. However, I never anticipated working in government. It was while at middle school that I had a strong interest in Science classes. I even participated in Science contests! I thought I was going to be working in a hospital or laboratory setting. But life takes you in many different directions, and so here I am, now working in local government!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interview with Yukari Iwatani Kane: Volunteering at San Quentin

I recently wrote about criminal justice reform and James Forman Jr.’s book, Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. When I attended his talk at a local bookstore, he shared some of the ways in which we could all support the cause. One of the examples he mentioned was volunteering to teach in a prison setting. Forman himself taught a class in a Connecticut prison and found it very rewarding.
Yukari Iwatani Kane is a book author and journalist who teaches writing and journalism at San Quentin. (She is the author of Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs and previously worked as a journalist at the Wall Street Journal and Reuters.)  Here’s what she has to say about her own experience teaching journalism and writing to inmates.
Are you interested in issues of criminal justice reform?
I really wasn't before. I read about them of course, but it was something that affected a part of society that I had no connection to. Now, I'm absolutely interested. When I hear of …

Criminal Justice Reform - "Locking Up Our Own"

When I came home from my arts-focused sleep away camp, I noticed a book on my mother's desk, "Locking Up Our Own" by James Forman Jr. My Dad saw me pick it up and told me the author would be speaking at a San Francisco bookshop the following week. I had read the book "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers in English class and visited the San Francisco Public Defenders office with the Youth Policy Camp, so I decided to go.

The last time I attended a bookstore for an author event was to see a picture book writer read to children. This was much different.

Forman, a well-respected Yale Law professor and former public defender, discussed policies from the '70s and '80s that were aimed at addressing rising crime rates, but resulted in the mass incarceration of blacks. Forman explained that many of the African-American officials taking office after the Civil Rights movement were the ones who lobbied for measures against drug-dealing and gun violence at the request of …

Interview with Rinku Sen, Writer and Activist

Rinku Sen is a writer and activist best known for her work with racial justice organization Race Forward and its award-winning news site Colorlines. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward had many successes, including a campaign to get media outlets to “Drop the I-Word” and stop referring to immigrants as “illegal.” (The Associated Press, USA Today, and the LA Times all changed their practice.)  I interviewed Rinku to better understand her particular career path.
What were you like as a teen? Did you know you would grow up to be a community organizer, writer, and activist?
When I was in my early teens I had no politics, so I definitely didn’t think I’d grow up to be an organizer. That is, politics didn’t interest me much, although history did.
I loved books. I started keeping a journal on loose-leaf 3-ring paper when I was 13, and I did want to be a writer. I read fast so I must have taken in thousands of romances and mysteries before I went to college. Some time during high school, one o…