The Glendale Youth Alliance, which is abbreviated as GYA, is a non-governmental organization based in the City of Glendale, California. Being a community-based organization, it has collaborated with the government to enhance its activities throughout the City of Glendale (“City of Glendale, CA: Home”). The meetings of the Association are held on every 7th of each month in the social halls. I attended the last session, which was held on November 7, on Harvard Street, and it had a turn up of 205 members, with few of the attendants being new members.
The organization seeks to promote the youths aged 14-24 to go to work if they do not go to school. After being established in 1993 with a core purpose of providing sustainable jobs to young people, the organization has gone through many changes to integrate new ideas related to growth and development among the youth. Some of the new values of the organization include integration and provision of mentorship programs to young people (“City of Glendale, CA: Glendale Youth Alliance”). The community-based organization has five key areas of operation that include training activities, youth mentorship programs, and empowerment activities for the youth job connections as well as the provision of essential skills to the young people to enhance growth and production. The paper examines the community-based organization and its policy-making process during monthly meetings.
Over 205 members were at the last meeting that I had also an opportunity to attend. The meeting was held at the City of Glendale, on Harvard Street on November 7, from 12 pm. Most of the attendees were registered members who had worked with the association for a while. The attendance was good although most executive members did not attend it due to the short notice given before the meeting. The president called the meeting officially on at 12.30 pm after all the members had settled. The secretary conducted a brief prayer. The meeting had three main agenda and A.O.B that were discussed. The time take was three and a half hours, although it was expected to take only three hours. The delay was mainly caused by lack of proper time keeping primarily by members and a few executives.
Members in Attendance of the Meeting
Members who attended the meeting, their respective positions, and mode of office assumption were as follows.
- Mr. Chris Tom; the Association patron, Executive appointee;
- The President, Carol Ben, elected member of the organization;
- Tony Kelly, the vice secretary, elected member;
- Mary Faith, assistant secretary, elected member;
- Vice President Mary Sun, elected member of executive;
- Chapter presidents who are elected members;
- Mr. Joseph Mann, the auditor of the council, elected member;
- Susan Ann, the government representative from the City of Glendale, appointed member;
- Four members of the Board of Advisers, appointed members.
In my opinion, the members assumed the respective positions in the office in the right way. Election of the executive management team is an excellent method since it gives accountability to electorates. At the same time, I believe that appointment for the positions of the board of advisers and government representatives is good practice too.
Main Policies Discussed
During the meeting, two key policies on affairs of the group and in line with the vision and mission objectives were discussed. The first agenda was the creation of jobs for the youth while the second was based on a training and mentorship forum for the youth. The members discussed each policy in details and came into very fruitful agreement. With the guidance of the patron, as well as a board of advisers on matters of the group, the success of the meeting was achieved, making the association move forward, and all members were interested in the objectives of the association.
Employment Empowerment Agenda
The first agenda, which was job creation for the youths aged14-24, was chaired and moderated by the president of the association. With an objective of ensuring that there was the reduction in the level of employment among the youths in Glendale City as well as other places, the meeting actively participated in making sure that all members were empowered through job creation activities (“City of Glendale, CA: Glendale Youth Alliance”). To meet the criteria of being provided with employment opportunities, the organization considered the low-income members first who were in the age bracket of 14-24 and did not go to schools. The provision of employment was settled on criteria of vetting process. As a result, this would ensure that only eligible and suitable members benefit with the opportunities present. Employment was considered one of the core activities of promoting economic empowerment to the youth in society.
Reactions of the Members in the Meeting
The plan for connecting the youths with job opportunities as well as the creation of employment was met with some technicalities that were easily solved. There was no need for voting in the passing and acceptance of the policy. A committee of five people, led by the Publicity Chairperson, was appointed to look into the matter and document it into the organization profile. The jobs were to be given only to those members who met the minimum qualification upon application since the forum was not open to everybody. It passed that only youths who had been trained and given adequate skills would be considered in the first phase of employment selection process. Equal chances were to be given to both male and female to reduce any possibility of gender bias, and thus, promote organizational roles and goals. The executive committee suggested that the select committee, which would work on the formula of ensuring fairness in the promotion of the youth about employment, had to give feedback on the progress in the subsequent seven days. Corruption cases and canvassing were highly discouraged to ensure that the elected members worked with ethics of highest level (“City of Glendale, CA: Glendale Youth Alliance”). Training for the appropriate skills was also deemed to enhance the criteria of ensuring high qualification level.
Acceptance and Conduct of the First Agenda
The agreement on the jobs and employment opportunities did not meet much resistance from the members in the course of the discussion. There was a high level of sobriety and general understanding in the motion. The moderator, who tackled the debate, was well versed with the objectives of the initiative. The presence of the government representative in the association gave much advice on how to work and collaborate with the local government in ensuring that matters relating to job opportunities were communicated to the group members in time. Members were encouraged to avail in large numbers to make sure that there was teamwork to promote that timely sharing of information was well made. For a start, the organization targeted at opening 35 employment opportunities from its internal sources. Still, it aimed at initiating various projects such as training mentorship of the members. Youths with special skills were to be hired to provide those services and to be paid to ensure that there was part time employment.
Second Policy of the Council Meeting
Another policy, which was widely discussed in the meeting, was training programs. The training programs agenda was driven by the vice president immediately after the adoption of the first policy. Since the association seeks to provide is development and empowerment of the youth, the only way for expansive growth is through the building of skills. The training program was aimed at three dimensions. The first aspect was the impartation of technical expertise to the target youths in the age of 14-24. The skills would depend on members’ ability, talent, and capabilities (“City of Glendale, CA: Glendale Youth Alliance”). Under this agenda, young adults with in-depth knowledge on practical skills were to be hired to ensure that there was the proper utilization of available persons, which would improve job provision.
Conduct of the Agenda
The next level of training was to be based on mentorship programs. It was one of the policies where members had very many intriguing ideas and divergent views. However, the moderator of the meeting, promoted unity and smooth flow despite differing. The mentorship was to be conducted on the members of the general community who met the minimum qualification. Persons with disabilities were highly targeted to ensure that there was holistic growth in the youth. The program was designed to help young people discover their potential fully and acquire skills about the corporate world. The activities were to be done in the small group, ranging from 10 to 20 members, which would enable very close facilitation of the activities. The local government representative in the organization was tasked with providing governmental authorization. The hiring of training centers was to be achieved using social halls. This was deemed convenient to reduce costs levels associated with training activities expenses.
Another form of training was predominantly related to personal development and impacting of skills related to the job market. The skills to be provided under this category were soft skills such as team working, communication skills, and personal branding. Still, the organizations meeting suggested that it would target the freshly graduated youth as well as recent job entrants who found it difficult to cope with new organizations.
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The Quality of the Meeting Conduct and My View Point
The GYA meeting, which I was present at, was held in Glendale City. It was conducted with much cooperation and high levels of professionalism (Wright 17-18). The meeting had a very clear agenda that matched the mission and objectives of the association very well. Thus, during the meeting, time was properly managed and diplomacy appropriately applied during disagreements in views and ideologies. However, upcoming meetings should be conducted promptly as the agenda should be clear, and the moderator should always be conversant with the ground rules. I usually get bored of course of time-consuming meetings. Hence, it is prudent to cut short agenda when time runs out.
The meeting was properly conducted since all the members were fully engaged in the activities. Representatives from various groups, such as the president, the secretary, and other executive members, ensured that the proceedings maintained good conduct. Two main policies were efficiently passed without major opposition. The meeting was very fruitful. I learned many things that were involved in administration and running of community-based organizations. Attending the meeting was a very insightful activity, whereby I had a practical experience on how affairs related to public policies were conducted. I have also learnt how to elect the executive members through election method that makes leaders be accountable in their respective positions in their dockets. The meeting was very objective, and it helped me understand policy, planning, and designing of strategies necessary to conduct a public meeting. Indeed, it has met its primary purpose.