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In Boston, Youth Activists Call For Increased Job Funding And Juvenile Justice Reform

Youth activists march  through Downtown Crossing Thursday afternoon. They are calling on state and city leaders to fund more youth jobs and reform the juvenile justice system. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Youth activists march through Downtown Crossing Thursday afternoon. They are calling on state and city leaders to fund more youth jobs and reform the juvenile justice system. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Youth activists from across the state rallied at the Old South Church in Boston's Copley Square Thursday, demanding state and city leaders increase funding of jobs for young people and reform the juvenile justice system.

The group of predominantly teenage-activists was organized by the Youth Job Coalition, a collection of community and youth organizations from around the state.

Speakers addressed the crowd in Boston's Old South Church before a march to the State House Thursday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Speakers addressed the crowd in Boston's Old South Church before a march to the State House Thursday afternoon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Several youth speakers addressed the rally, as did Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson and former Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Foss.

Speaking to the crowd, youth activist Trent Jordan spoke about what having a job meant to him.

"An early start to success can be achieved through indulging in the opportunity of a youth job," Jordan said. "A job changed my life. And you can be next."

The crowd marched from the Old South Church to Boston City Hall and then to the State House.

The Youth Job Coalition is asking Gov. Charlie Baker for $13.4 million to fund 5,000 year-round youth jobs. The group is also asking for the criminal records of youth offenders to be expunged once they turn 18 years old.

Juvenile justice rally marchers file into Boston City Hall Plaza. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Juvenile justice rally marchers file into Boston City Hall Plaza. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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