New reforms include Centralized Code of Conduct and Bylaw Revision Committees

This year marks 110 First-Time Appointees across 14 Boards

(April 6, 2021 at 1:20pm)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today announced several reforms to the Queens community board network, establishing a centralized code of conduct and complaint procedure, calling on each of Queens’ 14 community boards to conduct a holistic review of its bylaws, as recommended by the Queens Borough President’s Office, and enacting changes where necessary.

Borough President Richards also today announced his appointment of individuals to serve on their respective Queens community board. Of the 373 appointees across Queens’ 14 boards, 110 are first-time members who had not previously served on a board. The 373 appointees — chosen out of this year’s pool over 900 applicants, a Queens borough record and 56.5 percent increase from last year — began their two-year terms on April 1, 2021.

“Queens has never been closer to community board representation that is truly reflective of our borough’s vast diversity than it is today. Thank you to the over 900 applicants who heard the call of community service and congratulations to all who have been appointed. Queens looks forward to all you will accomplish on behalf of our families,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “Democracy is at its strongest when the voices of all the people it serves are elevated, a principle we are proud to strive toward with this new class of appointees.”

Borough President Richards worked to correct the underrepresentation of numerous demographics, beginning with women. Of the 110 first-time appointees, 62.4 percent are women — a massive 20.2-point increase from the current rate of female community board membership. Borough President Richards also made a concerted effort to appoint more young people to their local community board. A remarkable 74.3 percent of this year’s first-time appointees are 45 years old or younger, while individuals 35 or younger make up 43.1 percent of all new appointees.

The 110 first-time appointees are also much more representative of the borough’s expansive diversity, in terms of ethnicity, heritage and sexual orientation. Compared to board membership as of 2020, this year’s class of new appointees has a greater percentage who self-identify as Latinx (24.8 percent), immigrant (17.4 percent), East Asian/Pacific Islander (11 percent), South Asian (14.7 percent), African American (24.8 percent), and LGBTQIA+ (8.3 percent) representation.

Parents of school-age children are significantly more represented on Queens community boards, as 33 percent of this year’s new appointees fall into that category — a 25.9 percentage point increase compared to the current rate of community board membership among parents of school-age children. In terms of new appointees’ commonly-used forms of transportation, 75 individuals cited a subway or train and 54 listed a bus, while 23 said they used a bicycle or scooter.

Following through on his pledge to revamp the Queens community board network, Borough President Richards has established a Code of Conduct to outline the rules and responsibilities of board members, maintain the legal and ethical integrity of the work performed by the boards and ensure a positive, inclusive working environment across the board network.

Any member who violates the Code of Conduct may face corrective action up to and including removal from the board for cause by the Borough President. Complaints against community board members for alleged violations of the Code will be investigated by the Borough President’s General Counsel’s Office.

To ensure good standing regarding the Code of Conduct, members must:

·         Maintain a positive attendance record with no more than three unexcused absences within a six-month period.

·         Refrain from threatening, intimidating or harassing other members, community board employees or members of the public.

·         Abide by the Queens Borough President’s Office’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Sexual Harassment Prevention policies as well as the New York City Human Rights Law.

·         Abide by the New York City Conflict of Interest Law (Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter), which requires members to disclose conflicts and abstain from voting on matters affecting their private interests.

·         Inform the Queens Borough President’s Office of a change in one’s eligibility (e.g., moving out of the district)

·         Complete all training courses, including technical and cultural competency courses, as directed by the Queens Borough President’s Office.

Community board members must also complete the following series of three training courses offered by the New York City Commission on Human Rights:

·         Human Rights Law Overview — emphasizing the rights and obligations under the law in employment, public accommodations and more.

·         Working with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Communities — covering protections under the City’s Human Rights Law and detailing correct terminology when addressing the LGBTQIA+ community.

·         Human Rights Law and Protections Against Discrimination Based on Race and Color — providing a historical context for race and color-based discrimination and how it has impacted the delivery of services and resources in New York City.

To promote modernization and uniformity across the 14 community boards, Borough President Richards is also calling on each board to establish a bylaw revision committee this April to conduct a comprehensive review of its bylaws, policies and procedures.

The Borough President will serve as an ex-officio member on each bylaw revision committee and will advocate for each board to implement specific reforms to promote openness and inclusion in board procedures. Reforms include but are not limited to:

·         Setting a time certain to hear from the public at each public meeting, whether in person or online, and formalizing a process of accepting public comments remotely.

·         Establishing officer nomination and election procedures that invite broader participation in board leadership.

·         Electing a parliamentarian to promote procedural neutrality and decorum.

·         Outlining procedures to ensure that the board meets legal requirements for the timely provision of public notices, agendas, and minutes, and to maintain an accessible website where the public can access this information in multiple languages.

·         Mandating a video livestream of every board meeting and a publicly-accessible online archive of these recordings.

·         Clarifying the board’s internal member removal process.

·         Enumerating the duties, responsibilities, and supervisory structure for professional staff.

·         Designating a committee to review board bylaws every four years to examine their performance and recommend amendments, if necessary.

These reforms come on the heels of Borough President Richards’ modernization of the community board application process and subsequent aggressive, culturally competent outreach earlier this year. Efforts to simplify the process included digitizing the application itself into an easily fillable online form that no longer required notarization.

The revamped process led to a diverse pool of over 900 applicants, including over 700 people who were not existing members of a community board. Last year, the Queens Borough President’s Office received applications from only 252 such individuals. 

“The Borough President’s initiative to create more inclusive and transparent community boards should be applauded,” said Council Member DANIEL DROMM. “I am working with Borough President Richards on this project. I’m glad these changes are in process because they will be transformative.”

“Community Boards are the most grassroots form of government we have in New York City and I applaud Borough President Richards’ commitment to delivering on his promise to ensure they reflect the diversity of the communities they serve,” said Council Member ANTONIO REYNOSO. “Increased transparency and access to the application process will ensure that more folks than ever before will become engaged in the important work Community Board’s do. Revising outdated bylaws and holding members to a high standard of conduct will give the public confidence that Boards are functioning at a sophisticated level and with the utmost integrity. I want to thank BP Richards for all his work and I look forward to collaborating with our Queens Community Boards throughout this process.”

“I am proud to welcome all of the new additions to our community boards in Queens,” said Council Member ERIC ULRICH. “Sitting on the Board is no easy task – it requires a lot of time, effort and energy.  I am confident our new members will not only serve with the utmost dignity and respect – but will also offer new, important voices in Queens. I want to thank Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for making appointments to CB9, CB10 and CB14 upon my recommendation.”

“As a former Chair of Community Board 12, I commend Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for overhauling the community board process, including the digitization of the application, which has led to an impressive increase in interest and submissions,” said Council Member ADRIENNE ADAMS. “Our community boards play a vital role in our neighborhoods, and our diverse, engaged, and committed board members will help shape the future of Queens.”

“Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. has further democratized the most local part of city government in our borough — the 14 community boards that together represent every Queens neighborhood,” said Council Member BARRY S. GRODENCHIK. “Shifting the community board application to an online format provided an unprecedented level of access to local residents and yielded a record-breaking number of applications. I participated in this year’s process by interviewing every applicant from Council District 23. I met an outstanding group of New Yorkers who are passionate about serving our city, and I am pleased that several are now among the newest community board members here in Queens.”

“Our families deserve nothing less than a government that looks, thinks and feels like the communities we call home. Borough President Richards’ transformative overhaul of our community board network has brought us one step closer to making that a reality,” said Council Member SELVENA N. BROOKS-POWERS. “I am grateful to the Borough President and his team for their steadfast work and commitment to ensuring our community boards more closely reflect the neighborhoods they represent. Congratulations to all who have been appointed to serve our families here in Southeast Queens and across the borough.”

There are 59 Community Boards citywide, including 14 in Queens, and each hold monthly full membership meetings. The Boards also hold hearings and issue recommendations about the City budget, municipal service delivery and numerous other matters that impact their communities.

All Queens Community Board members are appointed by the Queens Borough President, pursuant to the City Charter, with half of the appointments recommended by the City Council Members representing their respective Community Districts. Each Board has up to 50 unsalaried members, with each member serving a two-year term. All Community Board members who wish to continue serving on a Board are required to reapply at the conclusion of their two-year term and are subject to review and reconsideration.

Borough President Richards’ appointments for the 2021-2023 term to the Queens Community Boards are as follows:

Community Board 1 (Astoria, Old Astoria, Long Island City, Queensbridge, Ditmars, Ravenswood, Steinway, Garden Bay, Woodside): Helene Abiola, George Alexiou, Avninder Aujla, Edward Babor, Ann Bruno, Soma Brahmanandam, Jean Marie D’Avella, Antonella Di Saverio, Kate Ellman, Elizabeth Erion, Dean Feratovic, Helen Ho, Amr Kotb, Cristina Lastres, Diana Limongi, Chelsea Lopes, Jeffrey Martin, Doreen Mohammed, Stella Nicolaou, Dino Panagoulias, Brian Romero, Dominic Stiller, Andre Stith, Mitchell Waxman, Rosemary Yelton.

Community Board 2 (Maspeth, Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City): Czarinna Andres, Anatole Ashraf, Kat Bloomfield, Danielle Brecker, Johanna Carmona, Gianna Cerbone, Jewel Chowdhury, Warren Davis, Camille Gray, Somnath Ghimire, Jacob de Groot, Sally Frank, Rosamond Gianutsos, Benjamin Guttman, Christine Hunter, Badrun Khan, Kristen McGowan, Elliot Park, Karla Perez, Selena Romero, Katherine Sabal, Laura Shepard, Mary Torres, Anthony Tudela, Adrienne Verrilli.

Community Board 3 (Jackson Heights, North Corona, East Elmhurst): Elba Buendia, Vicky Chan, Muquith Chowdhury, Haiko Cornelissen, Shiv Dass, Michael De Valera, Renetta English, Ulrick Gedeon, Peter Herron, Larinda Hooks, Abdur Rahim Howlader, Joyce Julian, Edward Kiernan, Lisa Mesulam, Marco Munoz, Veronica Ng, Laverne Nimmons, Nuala O’Doherty, Megan Rockwell, Fausto Rodriguez, Tammy Rose, Lobsang Salaka, Dawn Siff, Fahad Solaiman, Marlene Tapper, Frank Taylor, Arthur Teiler, Hamlett Wallace, Edwin Westley.

Community Board 4 (Elmhurst, Corona, Corona Heights): Lynda Coral, Michelle Dunston, Aridia Espinal, Marialena Giampino, Lara Gregory, Leeanne G-Bowley, Deependra Lama, Vincent Laucella, James Lisa, Salvatore Lomardo, Sylvia Martin, Rovenia McGowan, Jose Morillo, Edgar Moya, Ruby Muhammad, Sandra Munoz, Georgina Oliver, G. Oliver, Shrima Pandey, Purushottam Panthee, Lindsay Quartini, Brian Ramirez, Ashley Reed, Christian Romero, Clara Salas, A. Redd Sevilla,  Urgen Sherpa, Gregory Spock, Dechen Tsering, Yilin Wang, Minwen Yang, May Yu.

Community Board 5 (Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village, South Elmhurst):  Vincent Arcuri, Toby Sheppard Bloch, Jessica Boiardi, Alyssa Bonilla, Rachel Caracci, Walter Clayton, Maria de la Cruz, Brian Dooley, Derek Evers, Steven Fiedler, Paul Kerzner, Maryann Lattanzio, Diego Leclery, Edward Lettau, Patricia Maltezos, Katherine Masi, Martin Nadgorski, April Narsasian, Donald Passantino, Kenneth Rehberger, Theodore Renz, Lee Rottenberg, Walter Sanchez, Catherine Sumsky, Katarzyna Syta, Gyanal Thapa, Barbara Toscano, Patrick Trinchese, Michaeline Von Drathen, Maryanna Zero.

Community Board 6 (Forest Hills, Rego Park): Michael Acati,Kavish Batra,Peter Beadle, Miriam Berfas, Howard Birnbaum, Heidi Chain, Sheridan Chu, Alexander Cohen, Latrice Davis, Alexandra Diaz-Houston, Heather Dimitriadis, Keith Engel, Joyce Kevelson, Prameet Kumar, Jack Medina, Dr. Renee Mehrra, Steven Metz, Patricia Morgan, Rafael Nektalov, Elizabeth Newton, Gladys Sandoval, David Schneier, Teresa Simmons, Robert Tamayev, Irina Tamayeva, Martha Tucker, Susan Wanderman, Alexa Weitzman, Joan Weston, Edwin Wong, Daniel Yakubov.

Community Board 7 (Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Malba, Beechhurst, Bayside, Queensboro Hill, Willets Point): Krishnaswamy Anandaram, James Cervino, Kaily Yat Kawi Cheng, John Choe, Kim Cody, Arlene Fleishman, Richard Forman, Vincent Gianelli, Cody Herrman, Phil Konigsberg, Wensong Li, Wendy Louie, Frank Macchio, Richard McEachern, Selma Moses, Sergio Nicolich, Kim O’Hanian, Terrence Park, Frank Quatela, Joshua Sussman, Joseph Sweeney, Peter Tu, Harpreet Wahan, Maggie Wong, Linna Yu, Lei Zhao.

Community Board 8 (Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Briarwood, Jamaica Hills Jamaica Estates, Holliswood, Flushing South): Edward Chung, Florence Fisher, John Gebhard, Ahsan Habib, Tamara Hirsch, Paul Lazauskas, Meshulam Lisker, Mary Maggio-Fischer, Simon Pelman, Wendy Phaff-Gennaro, Mohammad Rhaman, Deepti Sharma, Douglas Sherman, Penny Maureen Stern, Martha Taylor, Jacob Weinberg, Tamika Williams-Moore.

Community Board 9 (Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park): Marla Abaca, Faiuze Ali, Kirpal Billing, Zoila Bofill, John Carter, Nick Comaianni, Andrea Crawford, Joan DeCamp, Jan Fenster, Linda Fogal, Daniel Grieve, Sylvia Hack, Sherman Kane, Raez Khan, Kevin O’Leary, Katharine Maradiaga, Michael Pereira, Daniel Pollack, Diannedrea Ramoutar, Cristal Rivera, Mohamed Safie, Anjali Seegobin, Maharani Singh, Raghbir Singh, J. Richard Smith, Esta-Joy Sydell, Marie Turley, Seth Welins, Kenichi Wilson, Lilian Yagual.

Community Board 10 (Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, South Richmond Hill): Michele Adams, Angela Antonino, Joann Ariola, Pamela Baumann, Natalie Bissoon, Elizabeth Braton, John Calcagnile, Emily Cheng, Marie Cherenfant, Rosemary Ciulla-Frisone, Justin Coulverson, Amanda Deebrah, Anthony Garcia, Anthony Gellineau, Roger Gendron, Elaine Holland, Melanie Logan, Ashford Maharaj, Ruben Martinez, Stacy Mohammed, Angela Nocerino, Silvestro Pace, Bhola Ramsundar, George Russo, Mohammad Salim, Varinder Singh, Isabel Van Putten.

Community Board 11 (Bayside, Auburndale, Oakland Gardens, Little Neck, Douglaston, East Flushing, Hollis Hills): Jessica Burke, Michael Budabin-McQuown, Susan Cerezo, Jason Chen, Justin Chew, Carmen Collado, Paul DiBenedetto, Mary Donahue, Henry Euler, Mario Ferazzoli, Elias Fillas, Jack Fried, Michael Golia, Bernard Haber, Christine Haider, Stanley Jin, John Kelly IV, Jena Lanzatta, Linda Lee, Yosef Lee, Robert Liatto, Fleur Martino, George Mihaltses, Eileen Miller, Vidya Pappachan, Akshar Patel, Stephen Popa, Christina Schere, Benjamin Turner.

Community Board 12 (Jamaica, South Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, South Ozone Park, Addesleigh Park, Springfield Gardens): Alam Ahnaf, Angela Allen, Mohammed Ali, Natalie Blain, Rene Cheatham-Hill, Vishal Hardowar, Celeste James, Clementine James, Bilal Karriem, Dawn Kelly, Michelle Kirkland, Latoya LeGrand, Bernadette Logan, Wanda Manley, Abdus Salaam Musa, Mohammad Shah Nawaz, Carlene Thorbs, Sharon Sweeting-Linsdey.

Community Board 13 (Queens Village, Glen Oaks, New Hyde Park, Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rosedale, Floral Park, Springfield Gardens, Bellaire): Bryan Block, Alexander Brathwaite, Kyle Bragg, Marcia O’Brien, Barbara Clements, Sylvia Cothia, Marissa Cronin, Tanya Cruz, Delroy Dawkins, Bess Debetham, James Delaney, Stephanie Delia, Derrick Delflorimonte, Lourdes Villanueva Hartrick, Richard Hellenbrecht, Fay Hill, Violet Huie, Mohamood Ishmael, Rhonda Kontner, Antony Kuncheria, John Logan, Curlene Nelson, Steven Taylor, Perminder Thiara, Pritpal Walia, Jackie Wilson, Gerald Wind.

Community Board 14 (The Rockaways, Rockaway Point, Breezy Point, Roxbury, Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Seaside, Broad Channel, Hammels, Sommerville, Edgemere, Arverne, Bayswater, Wavecrest, Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach): Mark Anaya, Gabrielle Bennett, Yaakov Berger, Lailah Boyd, Giselle Carter, Natasha Carter, John Cori, Eric Diaz, Temima Feldman, Jaden Gabb, Gerald David, Eugenia Gibson, Yitzchok Goldstone, Rose Duggan Gulston, Randy Hall, Brian Kelly, Paul King, Maggie Larkins, Denise Lopresti. Nancy Maritinez, John McCambridge, Isa Mitchell, Aldean Moore, Daniel Mundy, Eugene Pasternak, Karen Sloane Payne, David Rood-Ojalvo, Wanda Warden, Lisa Williams.

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