Photo courtesy of Chuck Apelian
Community Board 7 member Chuck Apelian will serve a three year term on the newly-formed New York City Civic Engagement Association.

Community Board 7 member Charles “Chuck” Apelian is honored to be appointed by Borough President Melinda Katz on April 24 to serve a three-year term on the newly-created New York City Civic Engagement Association.

“It’s pretty terrific. It’s a great honor to get that appointment and the respect of a great leader like Melinda. Out of 2.4 million people in Queens, she chose me and that’s pretty cool,” said Apelian.

The Civic Engagement Association was created through a successful ballot initiative posed to New York City voters in November 2018. The fifteen member commission will be responsible for enhancing civic participation, promoting civic trust and strengthening democracy in New York City.

“Commissioner Apelian brings a wealth of experience from the non-profit and private, sectors, and especially from his distinguished years of service as Vice Chair and Land Use Chair of Queens Community Board 7,” said Katz. “His prowess in civic engagement is second to none. The people of the City of New York will be well-served by Chuck’s unique expertise in policy and major public works projects, efficacy in strategic communications, and relentless advocacy for prioritizing input and interests from diverse communities.”

A resident of Flushing, Apelian serves as Queens Community Board 7’s Vice Chairman for 25 years, as well as the board’s Land Use Committee Chairman for 15 years. Additionally, Apelian also serves as an associate trustee of Northwell Health and a board member of the Long Island Hearing and Speech Society.

Apelian has helped guide rezonings to make way for developments such as Flushing Commons, Willets Point and the NYPD Police Academy in College Point, while maintaining strong working relationships with both elected officials and community leaders to develop consensus in a diverse district of over 250,000 residents, of whom 57 percent were born abroad.

“This is a next step to continue the engagement,” said Apelian. “The one thing I spend a great deal and pride in doing is building consensus, reaching out to people and getting a consensus on ideas. This next step will engage everyone citywide and give everybody a great opportunity for involvement with government.”

The Commission will run a citywide participatory budgeting program with guidance from a participatory budgeting advisory committee; partner with community-based organizations and civic leaders, increase awareness of City services, and assist New York City agencies in developing civic engagement initiatives. Additionally, the group will develop a plan to help limited English proficient New Yorkers take part in the Commission’s programs and services and provide language interpreters at poll sites, with advice from a language assistance advisory committee; and lastly,  provide assistance to community boards.

Apelian is looking forward to working with his fellow members on the commission.

“This is a significant opportunity for us as a commission to engage and develop civic trust for all New Yorkers,” said Apelian. 

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