(July 1, 2021 at 3pm)

QUEENS, NY – The Office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. released the 2020-21 Queens Community Board Demographic Report, providing both an overview of Queens community board demographics as of June 2020 and a detailed, multilayered breakdown of this year’s historically diverse class of community board appointees.

The report, released today as required per the New York City Charter, reads, “Queens Borough President Donovan Richards believes that local government is strongest when the voices of all the people it serves are elevated. To that end, under his direction QBPO spearheaded several important initiatives in 2021 to ensure that the fourteen Community Boards of Queens more closely reflect the communities they represent. These efforts included simplifying the Community Board application process, reaching out to underrepresented constituencies to generate a record number of applicants, and employing new tools to streamline the collection and analysis of demographic information.

“This year’s new Community Board appointment class is unprecedentedly diverse and represents an important first step in ameliorating the demographic disparities that exist on Community Boards across Queens. But the unfortunate fact is that many of those disparities, although lessened this year, continue to exist. The Richards administration is dedicated to ensuring that Community Boards are demographically representative of their communities and will continue to work toward this goal.”

As detailed in the report, which can be found here, significant demographic inequalities existed across Queens’ community boards prior to Borough President Richards assuming office in December 2020. The Borough President worked to correct that underrepresentation, 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.

Of Borough President Richards’ 110 first-time appointees, women comprised 62.4% of the class, a 19.1-point increase from the prior rate of women appointed to Queens Community Boards. Individuals 45 years old or younger comprised 74.3% of new appointees, while those under 35 comprised 43.1%.

Compared to 2020 board membership, the 2021 appointee class has greater percentages of those who self-identify as Latinx/Hispanic (24.8%), African American/Black (24.8%), immigrant (17.4%), East Asian/Pacific Islander (11%), South Asian (14.7%), African American/Black (24.8%), and LGBTQIA+ (8.3%).

Borough President Richards’ community board appointments follow the Queens Borough President’s Office’s 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. 

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