Tigard council appoints its first youth council member
The Tigard City Council has selected its first Tigard Youth City Councilor, a 17-year-old Tigard High School senior.
Meghan Turley was appointed to the seat Tuesday night following interviews with five other perspective candidates. She will serve from July 1 through June 30, 2020.
The council unanimously approved a resolution to name Turley -- who served as a class representative during her freshman and sophomore years, and serves as in the high school's leadership class for student government -- to the position.
Turley is this year's editor-in-chief of THS's journalism program and last year was in charge of the school's web site, which won statewide honors.
"I plan to represent Tigard youth by being as engaged with them as possible!" Turley wrote on her application for the position. "This means attending not only community events, but also events on a high school, middle school, and elementary school level, and listening to what my peers have to say about the state of our city."
Turley is not only involved in her school's student government but has branched out with to other causes and interests as well.
She served as the Oregon executive director of March for Our Lives, a nationwide group charged with getting young people to "fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives." She ended up co-leading two Tigard High School walkouts to protest gun violence last year and has lobbied legislators in Salem on the issue as well.
In addition, Turley worked as an intern for Ben Bowman, who recently ran a successful campaign to become a member of the Tigard-Tualatin School Board.
She said being selected to the council position is something that is right up her alley.
"I'm very excited about it," she said Tuesday. "I really appreciate being given the platform to share opinions."
Tigard Mayor Jason Snider, who had pushed for creation of the youth council position, said he was impressed with Turley and all the students who applied for the seat.
"All five of the candidates were really strong," he said. "I think we were really focused on picking a person who could communicate with the entire youth in our community."
Snider said Turley will join himself and the council up on the dais and participate in all council activities.
"I'll call on her like she's a member of the council," he said.
However, having not been elected to the seat, Turley will be unable to vote on council business.
Meanwhile, the city has budgeted money to send Turley to one national conference to further her understanding and knowledge of government.
For the future, Turley said she is looking at studying political science.
"Then I'd love to be a campaign manager," she said, adding she would work her way up from there.
And would she ever entertain the idea of working on a presidential campaign?
"That would be fun," she said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.