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City introduces Memphis Youth City Council members

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The city of Memphis hopes to get a better take on youth issues through the help of its 13 most recently elected officials.

On Monday, the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services introduced the members of the Memphis Youth City Council.

Schools elected 13 representatives, mirroring the Memphis City Council format.

Students will learn about city government and, in a way, become a part of it.

Organizers expect Youth City Council members even propose their own legislation.

"I'm excited to speak mostly about immigration, because I am Hispanic. I am not an immigrant myself, but I know people, and you know, speaking out towards the youth. Stop getting in trouble, because that's not cool," said Lizbeth Lopez from Memphis Catholic High School, representing District 5.

"It might kind of dig up, we might find some problems and some solutions that we haven't been looking at or looking for," said City Council member Worth Morgan, representing District 5.

"We're trying to engage the young people who are in the high schools, what their solutions possibly could be, not only on crime but other issues," said Mayor Jim Strickland.

Youth City Council members told WREG that tackling youth violence is an important place to start, but youth issues in Memphis run deeper than that.

"Violence," said Ridgeway High School student and District 2 representative Tyrany Nunn, "Violence and also just being more involved within school. Not just go to school, but also be involved in school."

"If we find a way for them to enjoy being in school, they'll want to go more," said Memphis Academy of Health Sciences student Sydnee Collins, representing District 7.

Youth City Council members will meet once a month with each other and quarterly with the Memphis City Council.

Schools will rotate each year, so that over time, every school will have a chance to take part.