More than 2,700 applications received over the Richards Administration

(March 17, 2023 at 10:15am)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today announced his office received 937 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 behind 2021’s community board application process, which saw a record-breaking 941 applications submitted.

The enthusiasm in the 2023 application process represents a third straight year of previously unprecedented interest in serving on a Queens community board. The Queens Borough President’s Office has received more than 2,700 applications over the past three cycles, with each year easily surpassing the pre-Richards record for applications received, highlighting of the Borough President’s continued outreach efforts and commitment to fostering interest in community service among Queens residents of all backgrounds and identities.

“I’m proud to see another year of great engagement from the people of Queens, who are clearly eager to help make a change in their local communities. Together, we are working to ensure government truly and justly represents the neighborhoods they are sworn to serve,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I’m so grateful to all of the 937 individuals who applied to serve on their local community board, and I look forward to working with my eventual appointees to continue to make Queens a more inclusive and welcoming place.”

Borough President Richards began receiving applications in early January for two-year terms of community board service, with the application period closing last month. Individuals selected to serve on their respective community boards will be notified before the beginning of their term on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

As part of Borough President Richards’ efforts to make the application process more accessible, the process this year was digital, a reform put in place in 2021, with all applications submitted via an easily-fillable online form. In years’ prior, applications had to be prepared on paper and be notarized before they were submitted to the Queens Borough President’s Office.

The simplified process has led to a significantly more diverse pool of applicants in 2021 and 2022 that enabled Borough President Richards to select 110 new community board members in 2021 and 94 new community board members in 2022, classes that were more diverse that sitting community board members in terms of gender identity, age, race and sexual orientation, 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 at least 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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