More than 1,800 applications received over the Richards Administration’s first two years

(February 28, 2022 at 10am)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards today announced his office received 884 applications from a diverse group of civic-minded individuals seeking appointment to one of the borough’s 14 community boards this year. It is the second-most applications received in the office’s history, following 2021’s community board application process which saw a record-breaking 941 applications submitted.

The tremendous enthusiasm in this year’s community board application process is a reflection of Borough President Richards’ continued outreach efforts and commitment to fostering interest in community service among Queens residents of all backgrounds and identities. 

“Government must not only work hand-in-hand with the communities it serves in order to be impactful, it must also be justly representative of those very communities. After yet another successful application process, I believe we’re well-positioned to build on the progress we made last year to diversify Queens’ 14 community boards and create a fairer, stronger borough for all our families,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I am deeply grateful to all 884 individuals who stepped up and applied to serve their communities, and I look forward to working with all of them to carry Queens into the future.”

This year’s 884 applicants include 610 people who are not currently members of a community board — just shy of last year’s 698 new applicants but more than double the amount of new applicants during the 2020 community board application process — while 274 individuals applied for re-appointment to a community board.

Borough President Richards began receiving applications in early January for two-year terms of community board service, which will begin on Friday, April 1, 2022.

As part of the Borough President Richard’s efforts to make the application process more accessible as well as safer amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, applications were again simplified to a digitized format, a reform put in place last year, with all applications submitted via an easily fillable online form. Years prior, applications had to be prepared on paper and be notarized before they were turned in at the Queens Borough President’s Office.

The simplified process led to a significantly diverse pool of applicants in 2021 that enabled Borough President Richards to select 110 community board members who were more diverse in terms of gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, economic status, and immigration status, among other factors.

Community boards are local representative bodies that have a variety of responsibilities, including but not limited to dealing with land use and zoning issues. The boards have an important advisory role and must be consulted on the placement of most municipal facilities in a community. Applications for zoning changes or variances must also come before the boards for review.

The boards 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 appointees nominated by the City Council members representing their respective Community Districts. Each board has up to 50 unsalaried members who serve two-year terms.

All community board members who wish to continue serving on a board are required to reapply at the conclusion of their two-year terms and are subject to review and reconsideration.

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