Youth council hopes to curb ever-rising violence in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Youth council hopes to curb ever-rising violence in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You might not think Louisville needs another city council, but this one is not elected, not paid, and not at odds with the Mayor. Instead, it's made up of a group of teens who have become trusted advisers, put in a role to help fight crime. 

On the first Monday of a new school year, Fadumo Abdullahi whizzed through advanced calculus at Atherton High School -- but in the back her mind, the 17-year-old student was thinking of formulas to fix one of Louisville's most pressing concerns. 

"I feel like there's so much violence -- especially for my family," she said. "We don't go outside."

Fadumo is one of 31 young people tapped for the Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's One Love Louisville Youth Implementation Team. The group works like a mini-city council, making recommendations to the mayor and other top city leaders on public safety. The members are all between the ages of 13 and 23.

"Just coming up with solutions and identifying problems within our community," Abdullahi said. "I am focusing on eradicating stereotypes, especially people of color and Muslims females that wear a hijab like me."

The team's primary job is to review the rollout of the "One Love Louisville Report," which is essentially the city's roadmap to reduce crime. 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says some of the perpetrators of crime, "are getting younger and younger, even in the middle school ages."

It comes at a time when the city is struggling, on track for a record number of murders, with more than 50 so far this year. Mayor Fisher says the young people will be a critical and much needed community voice.

"We've got eyes and ears on the street that can tell us what's working and what's not working -- and that's invaluable," Mayor Fischer said. "We can sit in an office and have theories, but if they are not being effective, we need that feedback as soon as we can so we can adjust."

It's a personal plight for Fadumo, whose Ethiopian family came to the United States when she was just nine years old -- and who now just wants to feel safe in their home. 

"I wanted to be on this team because I wanted to make a difference," Abdullahi said.

The One Love Louisville Youth Implementation Team works under Metro Government's Department of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. Their first major project is a gun control summit, planned for next month. 

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