On the heels of what has been described as two “wildly successful efforts” to both attract new members and correct long-standing demographic inequities across Queens’ 14 community boards, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. is again accepting applications from qualified and civic-minded individuals interested in serving on their local community board.
As with the borough president’s prior two iterations, the 2023 community board application can be filled out online, “ensuring prospective applicants can complete the process quickly and easily, allowing for a more diverse applicant pool,” said Richards, whose father hails from Jamaica.
He said the application requires neither notarization nor in-person delivery to the Queens Borough President’s Office.
“Government is at its most effective and impactful when people who come from and understand the needs of the communities it is sworn to serve are in positions of leadership. That’s what we’re actively working to create here in Queens with our 14 community boards,” Richards said.
“I look forward to building on the progress we’ve made to diversify and strengthen our boards over the last two years, and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in public service to apply over the next six weeks,” he added.
The application is available online at ww.queensbp.org/communityboards, and the deadline to submit the form is Thursday, Feb. 16.
Richards said this deadline applies to both new applicants and existing community board members seeking an additional term.
For the upcoming round of appointments, he said the two-year term of service will begin on Saturday, April 1, 2023.
Over the course of his administration, Richards said he has “worked diligently to grow interest in community board membership and address numerous demographic inequities around age, gender, background and more that have existed for years across Queens’ 14 community boards.”
Combining the 2021 and 2022 community board processes, the Queens Borough President’s Office said it received a “whopping 1,825 applications to serve on a community board”, with both years shattering the pre-Richards single-year record for applications.
Richards said the larger and more diverse applicant pools led to community board classes that were younger, more female and had greater percentages of members who identified as Latinx/Hispanic, African American, immigrant, South Asian, East Asian/Pacific Islander and LGBTQIA+, among other characteristics.
There are 59 community boards citywide, including 14 in Queens, and each hold monthly full membership meetings.
Richards said the boards play an important advisory role in considering land use and zoning matters in their respective districts under the City’s Uniformed Land Use Review Procedure, in addition to holding hearings and issuing 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 Councilmembers representing their respective Community Districts.
Each board has up to 50 unsalaried members, with each member serving a two-year term, Richards said.
He said 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.