Democracy at the Local Level

What do two of the youngest city councilmembers in California have in common? Both believe that young people belong in politics. Creating Citizens, The Commonwealth Club’s education initiative, is excited to host Oakland Councilmember Janani Ramachandran and South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman as they talk with high school students about the role of young people in civic life.

Both city councilmembers, born and raised in the communities they now serve, find themselves as the youngest members of their respective city councils. As they work to empower their communities, they find they must constantly navigate a much older political ecosystem that isn’t always the most welcoming to young faces.

The councilmembers will be joined in conversation with Dr. Stephen Morris. Dr. Morris, the CEO and co-founder of the Civic Education Center, has spent more than 20 years working in education. Together, they will discuss local government and how everyone, from politicians to students, can work with people with whom they disagree.


This program is part of The Commonwealth Club’s civics education initiative, Creating Citizens.

Koret and Creating Citizens

Image - James Coleman

James Coleman

 Member, South San Francisco City Council, District 4

Image - Janani Ramachandran

Janani Ramachandran

Member, Oakland City Council, District 4

Image - Stephen Morris

In Conversation with Stephen Morris

CEO & Co-Founder, Civic Education Center