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Applications for Queens community boards now open

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Applications for Queens community boards are now open, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced on Jan. 6, 2022. (QNS file photo)

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is currently accepting online applications from qualified and civic-minded individuals who are interested in serving on their local community board. 

The community board plays an important advisory role in considering land use and zoning matters in their respective districts under the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. 

The 2022 community board application, like the previous year’s groundbreaking iteration, can be filled out online, ensuring prospective applicants can complete the process quickly and easily, and again allowing for a more diverse applicant pool and safer application process in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year’s online application again requires neither notarization nor in-person delivery to the Queens borough president’s office. 

Government is more accountable when it works in close collaboration with the communities it is sworn to serve, and it is most effective when the full demographic spectrum of each and every neighborhood is justly represented,” Richards said. “I look forward to continuing the great strides we made last year in ensuring our 14 Queens community boards truly look and feel like the neighborhoods they represent, and I encourage anyone with an interest in community service to apply.”

The community board application is available online at queensbp.org/community-boards. The deadline to submit the electronic application is Wednesday, Feb. 16.

This deadline applies to both new applicants and existing community board members seeking an additional term. For the upcoming round of appointments, the two-year term of service will begin on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Prior to Richards assuming office in December 2020, significant demographic inequalities existed within each of the 14 community boards in Queens. The borough president worked to correct that underrepresentation, beginning with the 2021 application process.

Of his 110 first-time appointees, 62.4% were women — a 19.1-point increase from the prior rate of female community board membership — while 74.3% of first-time appointees were 45 years old or younger and 43.1% were no older than 35. Compared to 2020 board membership, the 2021 appointee class also had greater percentages of those who self-identify as Latinx/Hispanic (24.8%), African American/Black (24.8%), immigrant (17.4%), South Asian (14.7%), East Asian/Pacific Islander (11%) and LGBTQIA+ (8.3%).

In total, the revamped application process led to a diverse pool of over 900 applicants, including more than 700 people who were not existing members of a community board, a near-threefold increase from 2020.

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 nominated 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.

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