California government – and American government for that matter – is now a government of the old, by the old, and for the old.

So why not form a second government – a youth government?

The thought is occasioned not just by older California leaders like Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Nancy Pelosi. Or by the fact that the average age of Congress has risen all the way to 63 years old, which, as the Sacramento Bee recently noted, is almost three decades older than the median age of Americans, and of Californians. Or even by the sad truth that the “young” generation of political leadership – Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Kevin De Leon, Antonio Villaraigosa – are all past 50 and thus eligible for AARP membership.

It’s by ideas for such youth governments around the world.

The most recent example I encountered was a proposal for a youth government in Taiwan that would have real power. Many local governments, including the small city of Gonazles in Monterey County, have experimented with giving real power to youth representatives. And there are of course model government programs and even the Youth & Government program at the YMCA.

California ought to do something bigger and statewide. Why not a youth legislature that is granted powers over areas of the budget that involve youth? Such a body also should get the power to introduce legislation in the main legislature – and put a couple of initiatives directly on the statewide ballot each cycle, without having to spend money on signature gathering.

At the very least, youth government could put young people back on the agenda in a state with an ancient political leadership.