Jan. 4, 2024 By Ethan Marshall
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced his office is now accepting applications for the 14 Queens community boards in 2024.
Qualified and civic-minded individuals have until Feb. 16 to apply. The deadline also applies for existing community board members who wish to continue to serve should their two-year term be coming to an end. Those individuals who get appointed will begin their two-year terms on April 1. The positions are unpaid.
“As we begin this year’s community board application process, my office is proud to continue the work of ensuing these boards look and feel like the diverse communities they serve,” Richards said. “This means reaching residents from every corner of every neighborhood and expanding opportunities for those who want to make a difference in their home community. I look forward to building on the progress we’ve made to diversify our boards over the last three years, and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in public service to apply.”
Throughout Richards’ tenure as Queens Borough President, he has worked to grow interest in community board membership. He has also placed a heavy focus on making sure that each board reflects the borough’s rapidly changing demographics, in terms of race, gender and age. Since 2021, his office has received over 2,700 applications to serve on a community board. The vast majority of these applications have come from individuals who had not previously served on a board.
Richards said the appointment process in 2023 led to significant achievements. The total of 938 applications received last year was just three shy of the highest total ever, which was 941 in 2021. The pool of applicants was also more diverse in 2023, which led to community boards being younger, more female, and essentially less white—in line with changing demographics. The boards had greater percentages of members who identified as Latinx/Hispanic, African American, South Asian, East Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+ and immigrant, among other characters.
Appointees are required to attend monthly board meetings as well as ongoing committee meetings. 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. The board also holds hearings and issuing recommendations about the City budget, municipal service delivery and numerous other matters that impact their communities. They also weigh in on liquor and cannabis licenses.
All Queens community board members are appointed by the Queens Borough President, pursuant to the City Charter. Half of the appointments are nominated by the City Councilmembers representing their respective Community Districts. As many as 50 unsalaried members can be a part of each board for two-year terms.