Erie Mayor and Staff Go to School for Input From Students - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Erie Mayor and Staff Go to School for Input From Students

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Mayor Schember takes student input Mayor Schember takes student input

Erie Mayor Joe Schember and his top staff went into Erie High School and East Middle School for the first of what he calls community conversations.

They are seeking community input for the Erie Refocused comprehensive plan that aims to improve the city. "These are kids that have lived here their whole lives, we want to hear from them," Mayor Schember said, "what do they like about Erie how can we improve it."

The mayor joined his staff for the middle school session, listening to about twenty students, from all three of Erie public middle schools.  They had plenty to say, raising concerns about problems with school transportation, drugs, gangs and violence. 

They also offered constructive suggestions. Riley Abersold from East Middle School talked about the need for a community center.  "A football field or a basketball court for both east and west side kids to come together and play, instead of being against each other be for each other like they did at Erie High."

Jasmine Jones from Wilson Middle School talked about jobs.  "...for the mayor to like have more summer jobs for students our ages where we can stay out of trouble and then we can learn how to work and we won’t just be stuck after high school...not knowing what to do," Jasmine said.

Earlier in the day, the mayor's team sat with students representing the high schools. He said the reports from there were described as "more negative," but all the input will be factored in to city planning.

Students were pleased to have a voice. Jackelin Reyes from Wilson Middle School said, "I think this was a great opportunity and I think what we get out of it is they actually listen to us and take into consideration what we say and our points of view."

Levonne Rowan of Strong Vincent Middle School felt respected. "I thought it was pretty fun because the mayor actually listened to our thoughts and opinions about the community, we had other officials here from our government from Erie Pennsylvania and they were just listening to our thoughts and I felt very respected," Rowan said.

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