Posted on: February 5, 2013

Mayor Melvin Mack addressed the Laurel Mayor’s Youth Council (LMYC) at their monthly meeting Monday night at the City Hall. Mack, a Mississippi Municipal League Youth Committee Past-President, talked about his time as Laurel’s first African American mayor, his family and his plans to run for Ward 7 councilman in the upcoming municipal elections. 

“I never thought a young black boy from Queensburg, Mississippi, would have the chance to meet five US Presidents and that’s exactly what I was able to do,” Mack said. “I had the opportunities through service.”

LMYC serves as liaison between youth and the City, keeping government informed of the needs of youth while keeping youth informed of city government. Young people get to work toward developing their individual leadership skills to strengthen the community through volunteer service and increased communication with municipal leaders.  It is civic training at its best, giving teens the outlets and tools they need to increase their understanding of how to run a municipal body and make a difference. The youth are actively involved with tutoring and mentoring at Mason Elementary and Laurel Christian School, in addition to other service projects with various organizations.
Mayor Melvin Mack and State Auditor Stacey Pickering

2012-2013 Laurel Mayor’s Youth Council with advisors

State Auditor, Stacey Pickering, was also in attendance at the meeting and took a moment to brag on Mayor Mack and his work. He said how gracious Mack is and that he is about helping the City of Laurel.

“That’s what Laurel is all about,” Pickering said with one arm around Mack. “It’s not about Black and White. It’s not about Democrat and Republican. It’s about family. We take care of family. We take care of each other.”

Mrs. Laverne Stegall, Special Project Coordinator for the Mississippi Municipal League (MML) shared plans about the upcoming MML Statewide Youth Leadership Summit to be held on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi on March 1 – 2, 2013. Youth councils from across the state will converge on the USM campus to network and discuss topics such as: school security, recycling, online safety/dating, money management and charter schools, and, of course, to have fun.   

Councilwoman Willie Evans, Ward 1, is the Director of the LMYC and member of the MML Youth Advisory Board. She has worked tirelessly to help this year’s council have a great experience and learn the skills to one day lead the city.  Her exuberance about the youth of Laurel is apparent. She loves the kids and wants to see them succeed.