Even before she became a member of the Board of Commissioners for the town of Hope Mills, Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Kenjuana McCray said she was often approached by young people, so-called millennials, on how to get involved in local issues.
Now McCray has helped to create a town committee that will hopefully give members of that generation both access and inspiration to share in the vision of planning for the future of Hope Mills.
Members of the Board of Commissioners recently gave approval to McCray’s idea of a committee composed of people from the millennial age group to offer advice and direction to the board on a wide variety of subjects.
McCray has been involved with a variety of organizations at Fayetteville Technical Community College where she works, particularly in the area of social issues. The clubs she worked with there took part in a variety of activities, and as recently as April had planned to do something in conjunction with Earth Day until all events of that nature were ground to a halt by COVID-19.
McCray thinks it’s especially important during the current situation to hear from millennial voices. “I believe they have something to say and can do good work in the community,’’ McCray said. She also believes they need a stronger connection to government bodies like the Board of Commissioners, which can be created by putting them together on a bona fide town committee.
“It’s good to take that energy they have,’’ McCray said, “and have their input included.’’
McCray feels the millennials can become involved in a variety of areas in the town, everything from beautification and culture to organizing food drives for the homeless and underprivileged.
McCray has tentatively set the age range of candidates for the committee from 18 to 39.
“We want a variety of people from different areas,’’ she said. “We are also hoping to get people that have different skill sets.’’
She’s hopeful to get people with backgrounds in the arts, marketing and media along with active duty and retired military.
All town committees have a member of the Board of Commissioners and a member of town staff as part of the committee. McCray has asked to be the representative from the commissioners and she asked Chancer McLaughlin, the town’s development and planning administrator, to serve as well because of his role with the town’s economic development.
She thinks it’s possible for the committee to be chosen and begin meeting in as few as three months.
“I would like to keep our young people here,’’ she said. “We end up losing a lot of our talented young people. I want them to be in this community and invest in this community.’’
McCray hopes an application for membership on the committee will be available shortly on the town website, www.townofhopemills.com.