County executive takes questions from young people on getting involved, leadership during online session

County executive takes questions from young people on getting involved, leadership during online session

Westchester County Executive George Latimer held an “open conversation on youth” Wednesday on Facebook Live, where young county residents were encouraged to ask questions about current events, ways to get involved and voting locally.

Latimer began the event by describing the role of government in Westchester County, stating,“The greatest concern young people have is whether or not the government of a county understands the needs they have.”

Young Westchester residents interacted throughout the session, asking questions about prevalent issues. Irene Lindberg from the Westchester County Youth Council asked, “How do you plan to help the younger people see political problems and make a change?” In his response Latimer emphasized the importance of the voice that young people have, and how it is vital that young people understand political structures in order to effectively use their voice.

Latimer also addressed the various boards available to Westchester County residents saying, “We have a series of boards and commissions on a host of different topics and areas and interests… as a young person you might serve on our youth board. We have ethnic organizations; an African American advisory board, a Hispanic American advisory board, an Asian American advisory board and an Arab American board.”

Latimer continued to describe the ethnic boards, focusing on their goals, “How do we make the county more responsive to our demographic? What are the things that are unique to being in one of these demographics? 

Latimer urged young people to get involved in the county through the multitude of boards and commissions available to all. 

Ginger Hellegers, another member of the Westchester County Youth Council, asked Latimer, “Can you share with us your first experience in a leadership role?” Latimer talked about managing a Little League baseball team for four years in his hometown of Mount Vernon. “It was important because I could teach them a sense of teamwork, how to hone a certain amount of skills that would help them in the rest of their lives, the discipline you need to perform in a sport well, and understanding how to win and lose.”

Latimer attributed the skills he has today to his early leadership experience.

Latimer’s message to all young people in this difficult time: “You will get through this, and you will thrive.”