The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement in partnership with the Public Affairs Unit of the United State Embassy, Abuja will host the 29 young legislators under the Young Legislators Accountability Project and 2 US young Legislators to a virtual Roundtable with the theme: Enhancing Legislative Accountability through effective Legislator-Constituent Relationship on the 30th of November, 2015. The Young Legislators Accountability Project is with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).The Young legislators from the US are Rep. Jose Diaz and Crisanta Duran.
Jose Diaz is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 116th District, which includes cities in northeastern Miami-Dade County. He is also a founding member of the Republican State Leadership Committee’s Future Majority Caucus’ Executive Committee, which is helping recruit and support Republicans from diverse backgrounds at the state level.
Crisanta Duran is a 35 years old female legislator and currently serves as a Democratic Majority Leader in the Colorado House of Representatives. Before being elected to the caucus leadership, Representative Duran was chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee (JBC). The 2014 state budget drafted by the JBC was notable for funding a variety of measures to boost the state’s economy and increase the economic security of Colorado families with a focus on affordable housing and childcare.
Specifically, the convening is aimed at maximizing youth leadership for effective representation and lawmaking in the 8th National Assembly. The roundtable also seeks to enhance legislative accountability and performance through effective citizens engagement and partnership. The activity will also explore the possibility of designing a framework for the young legislators forum designed to strengthen the linkage between youth electorate and young legislators. The forum will serve as a power bloc or youth caucus within the legislature saddled with the responsibility of exploiting the political space in the legislature for the advancement of the agenda of young electorates. This is modeled after the Young Elected Officials Network in the United States. As a project inspired by the International Visitors Leadership Program, YIAGA seeks to establish support systems that address challenges likely to undermine the performance of young legislators. The project will potentially hone youth skills on policy-making, advocacy, negotiation and critical thinking. Furthermore, this will lay a solid political framework for grooming future political leaders and legislators.
In enhancing accountability and citizen participation in legislative activities, YIAGA proposes to establish a Young Legislators Forum comprising youth legislators in the legislature and a Youth Technical Working Group comprising selected youth CSOs working on youth issues, democracy and human rights. The Youth Technical Working Group will serve as a flexible but structured network of experience youth groups that will provide technical assistance to the young legislators.
The meeting will provide a platform for partnership and collaboration between young legislators and youth CSOs as well as experience and knowledge sharing between Nigeria and US young legislators.
You can be a part of the Roundtable with the Young Legislators by following our live update on our social media pages: Facebook- YIAGA, Twitter- YIAGA #YLAPNG
Follow the live updates on the Young Legislators Accountability Project with the hashtag #YLAPNG @YIAGA on Twitter or facebook YIAGA The Young Legislators Accountability Project is with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) @OSIWA