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Mayor’s Office re-forms millennial advisory group: ‘This is not just show’

The committee’s formation comes after former managing director Rich Negrin first proposed the idea in 2015.

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Millennials are getting an increased role in the Mayor’s Office — more than a year and a half after the idea was first floated.  

The Kenney Administration announced this afternoon the formation of a 21-member Philadelphia Millennial Advisory Committee. The focus will be on advising the administration of issues affecting millennials and recruiting and retaining millennials in Philly.

“This is not just show,” Mayor Jim Kenney told members present at the press conference. “We will listen to what you have to say, we will process what you come up with, we will try to implement what you recommend.”

The Committee will likely meet once a month, with half of the meetings being open to the public and the other half being among just the members. Nina Ahmad, deputy mayor for public engagement, said the members will be tasked with getting information from the young people they interact with in their neighborhoods and social circles and sharing with the group, which will then pass on concerns or ideas to the Mayor’s Office. Exactly how they’ll keep and retain millennials isn’t certain, but Ahmad said likely issues will be job security for young people and education.   

A press release from the Mayor’s Office called the group “the first ever Philadelphia Millennial Advisory Committee.” That’s not quite true. Under the Mayor Michael Nutter administration, former managing director Rich Negrin led the formation of the Millennial Recruitment Advisory Board. It had a slightly different name but a similar goal of recruiting and retaining millennials in Philadelphia.  

That board was disbanded in the early weeks of the Kenney’s tenure in 2016. Ahmad said back then that not enough people outside of Center City had heard about the board, and the new administration wanted people from a broader swath of neighborhoods to be involved.

“We’re not just wanting friends to be on this,” she said last year. “This is not about a clique.”

The process of overhauling the new committee was done over the last several months. Ahmad said they received 425 applications before settling on the 21 members. Nicole Allen White, director of government and external affairs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a member of Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next: Arts” list, is the chair of the committee. Terrell Green, a theater artist, is vice-chair.

Here are the other 19 members:

  • Fatima Baig, Teacher, Prince Hall Elementary
  • Brandi Baldwin-Rana, PhD, Founder, Millennial Ventures
  • Nigel Charles, Community Development Assistant, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Alexis De La Rosa, Assistant Resident Director, University of Pennsylvania PENNCAP
  • Julian Domanico, Fundraising and Development Consultant, The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP)
  • Michelle Feldman, Executive Director, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful and a member of Billy Penn‘s “Who’s Next: Community.” 
  • Tierra Holmes, Community Partnerships Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Penda Howell, Marketing and Membership Associate, The Energy Cooperative
  • Joe Lee, Public Space Researcher, PennPraxis
  • Steven McFarland, Teacher, Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, Teach for America Corps Member
  • Sebastian Ramirez, Radiologic Technologist, Jefferson Urgent Care and Pennsylvania Hospital
  • David Rosenblum, Photographer/Owner, Dave Rose Photography
  • Jasmine Sadat, Deputy Director-Southeast Region, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
  • Kyle Shenandoah, Office Manager and Senior Tax Specialist, H&R Block
  • Patrick Sherlock, Director of University Relations and Student Engagement, Campus Philly
  • Raymond Smeriglio, Assistant Director of Athletics Development, Temple University Athletics
  • Alonzo South, Senior Manager of Strategic Planning & New Business Development, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Leah Tucker, Grassroots Organizer, Planned Parenthood
  • Dafina Williams, Vice President of Public Policy, Opportunity Finance Network
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