Thu | Jun 20, 2019

Youth mayor seeks to engage peers - Young leader wants to bridge gap between youth and politics

Published:Wednesday | November 21, 2018 | 12:14 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Youth mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Bobby Francis of York Castle High School, gives his deputy, Davi-Ann James, of Priory Primary and Infant School, a congratulatory hug after they were elected.
Youth Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Bobby Francis.

York Castle 11th grade student Bobby Francis was last Thursday elected youth mayor of St Ann's Bay for 2018-2019 after a lengthy election process at the Ocho Rios High School.

Nine-year-old Davi-Ann James, a grade-five student of Priory Primary and Infant School, was elected deputy mayor.

Francis, from the Dry Harbour division, picked up the favourite tag after delivering a captivating presentation where he analogised local governance through a public passenger vehicle.

"Just like when I'm going to board a public passenger vehicle, I put out my hand that is a sign of hope, that means you must establish hope," he said.

"Just like how the public passenger vehicle would take passengers, local government is expected to take the vulnerable from their area of vulnerability to safety; that's basically my message."

During his tenure, Francis said he wants to bridge the gap between youth and politics.




"Over the years, there has been this gap between youth and council - politics overall. Young people believe they should not be associated with politics in any way possible. I want to bridge that gap, eradicate that," Francis told The Gleaner after he was elected.

"Let us know that we're in it together. I plan to achieve partnership between youth and council."

Francis, who already has two subjects, will sit seven more next year.

"I plan to specialise in the humanities and liberal arts, and study law and psychology, and I definitely plan to go into representational politics."

Councillor for the Dry Harbour division, Carlton Ricketts, who had recommended Francis, was happy he was selected youth mayor.

"I feel very elated; he did exceptionally well and I wish him all the best," Ricketts said.