(July 22, 2022 at 10:30am)

QUEENS, NY – The Office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. has released the 2022 Queens Community Board Demographic Report, which provides both an overview of the current demographic profiles of Queens community boards and a detailed, multilayered breakdown of this year’s historically diverse class of community board appointees.

The report, publication of which is required by the New York City Charter, reads, “In 2022, the Office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. continued to build on last year’s progress toward rectifying long-standing demographic inequities in community board membership by doubling down on effective reforms and prioritizing appointees from underrepresented constituencies.

“Borough President Richards’ initiative to digitize the community board application, launched in 2021, continues to be a major success in generating a deeper and more diverse pool of candidates for appointment to Queens’ 14 community boards. Since 2021, over 1,800 people have applied to serve on their local community board, the majority of whom never served before.”

As detailed in the report, which can be found here, there are significant achievements in this year’s class of new appointees. Borough President Richards received 884 applications, the second-most applications received in the Office’s history. Of this year’s 345 appointees, 94 are first-time members who were not previously serving on a board.

In line with Borough President Richards’ efforts to appoint younger members to their local community boards, nearly 48 percent of new appointees are under the age 40, including three appointees in their teens. Prior to Borough President Richards taking office, less than 12 percent of sitting community board members were under the age of 35, while nearly three-quarters of all members were over the age of 45.

Of the 94 first-time community board members, 19.2 percent are immigrants — up from 17.4 percent of Borough President’s Richards’ 2021 class of first-time appointees and just 6.1 percent of sitting community board members as of 2020. Compared to community board membership prior to Borough President Richards taking office, this year’s group of first-time members also includes a greater percentage of individuals who identify as African Americans (22.3 percent to 18.5 percent); Hispanic/Latinx (17 percent to 8.6 percent); East Asian/Pacific Islander and South Asian (22.3 percent to 16.2 percent); and LGBTQIA+ (6.4 percent to 3.4 percent).

Borough President Richards’ community board appointments are a product of the Queens Borough President’s Office’s modernization of the community board application process and aggressive outreach to potential applicants, particularly those from underrepresented constituencies, earlier this year. Efforts to simplify the process included digitizing the application into an easily-fillable online form that no longer required notarization.

The heightened interest also stems from Borough President Richards’ 2021 announcement of a series of good-government reforms aimed at establishing a centralized code of conduct for all 14 community boards, as well as a call for a holistic review of each board’s bylaws, making boards more welcoming places for new members.

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