Nevada County Youth Commissioners Mackenzie Rist and Robert Gago met with Congressman Kevin Kiley on December 22 to discuss how the commission can create awareness around pertinent topics such as drug prevention, self-harm reduction, homelessness, and food insecurity.
Rist reflected, "I liked how he made a point to really listen and understand what was being said in conversations and was supportive of what others thought and felt rather than trying to change proposals with how he would want something."
Rist and Gago are two of the new 17 Youth Commissioners appointed by the Board of Supervisors in December who will serve through June 30. The purpose of the commission is to serve as a bridge between the youth and the board, with members advocating for Nevada County youth and providing recommendations to facilitate positive change.
Gago confirmed, "As Mackenzie said, we focused on substance abuse and homelessness in youth and briefly touched on food insecurity. What impressed me about the Congressman is how he listened, not heard, but listened to what was said. Not once did he make it seem like he wasn’t interested; his engagement was on point, and he aimed to work with us as much as possible. Overall, he was down to earth, resonated with compassion toward the county, and pushed to improve it."