Proposal 3: Community Boards
This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
Impose term limits of a maximum of four consecutive full two-year terms for community board members with certain exceptions for the initial transition to the new term limits system;
Require Borough Presidents to seek out persons of diverse backgrounds in making appointments to community boards. The proposal would also add new application and reporting requirements related to these appointments; and
If Question 2, “Civic Engagement Commission,” is approved, require the proposed Civic Engagement Commission to provide resources, assistance, and training related to land use and other matters to community boards.
Shall this proposal be adopted?
Reasons to Vote "Yes"
- Community boards should evolve over time to keep up with our city’s evolving values. Term limits would increase diversity on community boards, create an opportunity for borough presidents to recruit and enlist those who have not traditionally engaged in the work of community boards, and allow community boards to act as training grounds for nurturing new civic leaders. Inclusive decision-making may also strengthen public confidence in community boards, and attract more interest among potential applicants.
- The proposed term limits will be staggered, rather than taking effect all at once, to avoid a mass exodus of institutional knowledge. Any loss in institutional memory can also be made up for by providing additional professional resources, including knowledgeable paid staff and technical assistance services.
- Community board members, especially those in leadership positions, are re-appointed repeatedly, making it difficult for others who may be interested and may have new ideas to have a chance to serve. Term limits would address this issue.
- Requiring borough presidents to report annually on the demographic makeup of each community board alongside the demographics of each district will increase diversity and representation. Annual reporting will ensure that borough presidents are equipped with helpful and relevant information in making appointments, and make the recruitment and selection process more transparent.
- In order to operate more effectively and expand community outreach, community boards need urban planning services, training, and technical support. Community board members often do not have the expertise to fully understand the consequences of land use issues, such as rezoning. They would benefit from the assistance of urban planners, and to avoid conflicts of interest, those planners should be provided by the city.
- The Civic Engagement Commission, if created, would be well-positioned to provide community board members with access to the kind of independent expertise necessary to understand and evaluate the impact of land use proposals in their community. As a multi-member body containing appointees of the mayor, City Council, and borough presidents and lacking a formal role in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the Civic Engagement Commission would have no institutional stake in the merits of any particular land use proposal. The Commission would be required to identify qualified firms, professional staff members, or consultants who also do not have a stake in the land use matter for which they would be assisting a community board. It would also be required to make sure that resources are administered in a neutral and impartial manner to all community boards upon request and that community boards can provide feedback regarding these resources.
- Because the Charter currently does not address the procedure for community board application or selection, the process is not standardized and information about it is not easily accessible. This leads to the perception that the process is not fair or merit-based, which detracts from public confidence in community boards and discourages new applicants. A uniform merit-based application and evaluation system would increase turnover and diversity, remove political influence from the process, and standardize the appointment process.
- Requiring borough presidents to make applications available on their websites is a simple, low-cost, and effective way to increase access to community board participation.
- Inadequate access to resources has undermined the ability of community boards to fulfill their Charter mandate.
- Making language assistance available to community boards would help them better serve all New Yorkers in their community districts, including those with limited English proficiency.
- All municipal information should be available online. Community board meetings should be live-streamed. Although nearly all community boards have websites, the websites vary in content, how frequently they are updated, and their accessibility (for example, many of these websites aren’t mobile or tablet-friendly). Equipping all community boards with the resources to maintain and update their websites, along with other technological tools and resources, would allow interested district residents to stay informed and get involved.
Reasons to Vote “No”
- Term limits would diminish the effectiveness of community boards by reducing their institutional memory.
- Community boards are already understaffed, and some have too much turnover. It is difficult to get people to agree to serve on community boards and to attend meetings, and term limits will prevent interested and qualified New Yorkers from serving.
- It takes time to learn the functions of a community board, such as writing resolutions and understanding city government, as well as to establish relationships with fellow board members and other stakeholders. Specifically, only when community board members have mastered the complexity of land use can they sufficiently analyze applications, negotiate effectively, and positively plan for their communities. As a result, community board members could be at a disadvantage in negotiations with developers and lobbyists if they do not have comparable levels of experience.
- A better way to improve diversity would be to increase outreach and have a more vigilant appointment and reappointment process.
- City Council members and borough presidents are responsible for appointing and reappointing members, and they should be entrusted with creating more diverse community boards.
- Members who have served for the maximum number of consecutive terms should not be re-appointed after a term out of office. Community board members are unelected, politically unaccountable, and face less scrutiny than elected officials. They should not be allowed to accrue additional power and influence for more than ten years. They can continue their civic engagement as nonvoting public members of the board or move on to other forms of civic engagement in the community.
- Community boards do not lack access to planning expertise. Some boards already have independent planners hired by neighborhood groups, or provided by the borough president or Department of City Planning.
- A uniform online application process eliminates the individualized approach that would make sure that the community board is representative of and responsive to its community. Some borough presidents have difficulty finding sufficient applicants for community boards, while others are inundated with applications. They should be able to maintain flexibility throughout the application process.
- Many residents do not have internet access and would not be able to use an online application.
- Community board members should be elected with proportional representation, rather than appointed.
Statements Supporting Proposal
Jones Addoh, MD, Physician Business Owner
While experience is critical, the proposal will promote more diversity & fresh ideas. Change is paramount for progress.
Citizens Union of the City of New York
Citizens Union recommends a “yes” vote on proposal 3. This proposal would institute four two-year term limits for community board members, streamline the application process for community board appointments, and require all Borough Presidents to annually report on their outreach and recruitment methods, as well as evaluation criteria for community board appointments. Collectively these reforms ensure that representation on boards can keep pace with changing demographics of communities and benefit from new perspectives and energy. The proposal also would provide more standardization and transparency for the community and aspiring board members, and lead to a more rigorous selection process for board appointments. If proposal 2 is defeated, then a new mechanism will be necessary to provide the additional technical assistance that community boards need.
Sue Ellen Dodell, Attorney
The term limits proposal encourages ideological and demographic diversity on community boards. Requiring borough presidents to post information about board appointments on line and to issue an annual report promotes transparency. The concern that term limits would result in community boards losing institutional memory, particularly on land use matters, is unfounded. Experienced board members who are term-limited could continue to serve in a nonvoting capacity on board committees, and if they re-apply and are re-appointed, could return to become voting community board members again after a two-year hiatus.
Generation Citizen endorses all three ballot proposals because all proposals will help further our mission of ensuring that more New Yorkers of all ages and from all backgrounds engage in their local government and, by doing so, collectively strengthen our democracy.
Generation Citizen urges a yes vote on ballot proposal #3, which would establish eight year term limits for community boards and require Borough Presidents to standardize the community board appointment process to ensure boards are more representative of the diversity of the community board districts. Community boards are vital to the City’s local decision-making framework on many issues, including land use, education, quality of life, and pedestrian safety.
One of GC’s core values is that democracy works best when more people have a chance to engage in their local government and have a seat at the table. We believe that establishing term limits for community boards will ensure that more New Yorkers can participate in local decision-making, including especially 16 and 17 year olds who are now able to serve on community boards thanks to successful advocacy by GC and other organizations.
Padric Gleason, Client Success Manager
I've lived in New York City for 4 years and during that time, I've lived in 3 separate community board districts. Each time, I attended the board meetings and found membership to be: old, white, and angry. It was clear to me that nearly all members of the boards are homeowners and they spend an extraordinary amount of time discussing parking and automobiles. This, even as the majority of district residents are renters and many use public transportation rather than a personal vehicle. Term limits, with a built-in "cooling off" period of 2 year before reappointment, would help to break up the homeowner-car owner cartel that currently dominates decision-making.
In their present form, the majority of community boards do not reflect the racial, socio-economic, and age diversity of the communities that they are intended represent. Without term limits seats rarely open up on community boards and when new members join, it can be intimidating and disempowering to be on a board where most members have served between 10 and 30 years. It is important that community boards represent the full diversity of our neighborhoods and lifelong appointments result in entrenched perspectives and members who despite their best intentions are unable to accurately represent the attitudes and opinions of our ever-changing City. Urgent problems such as housing affordability, city services allocation, and street safety are too important to be voted upon by members who do not represent their community. Every other city official representative body in NYC government has term limits. They are an effective good-government reform that should be instituted.
Jessame D Hannus, Insurance Broker
I have been to many CB meetings (board and transpo comm) in Queens, Bklyn & Manhattan. Every one followed different rules, & changes them as they saw fit. CB1 Bklyn was the only one that actually welcomed non-board input. The only consistency was the board makeup. White men over 60, regardless of the census data of the actual community. Term limits will help address this. New blood, new demographics. Also, funding for resources and education will give boards the tools maximize their effectiveness
Community Board (CB) members are appointed to represent their neighborhoods. I count many CB members as my friends and they should be applauded for their service.
However, many of the folks serving on their CBs today have served for decades. NYC has changed tremendously in that time but our CBs simply don’t reflect that diversity because in many cases there is no room for new voices. In Queens, the “most ethnically diverse urban area in the world” CBs are largely older, whiter, and male.
This is bad enough, but consider that many of today's elected officials began their careers on a CB. The next generation also needs room to develop its political talent and connections.
This amendment will mandate that current voting members take a two year break. These folks can continue to volunteer with their CB as non-voting members but it opens an opportunity for newer voices to come onto the boards and establish themselves.
The system we have had is not working and it is time that the boards reflected our city's diversity.
Ben Kallos, New York City Council
Vote “Yes” to reinvigorate the 59 Community Boards - our big city’s small town halls - through term limits, standardized applications, and the resources they need to stand up to special interests.
Community Boards are often residents’ first experience with government where they should be greeted by board members who hear their voices and reflect the demographics of their neighborhood. Term limits for city elected officials have weakened special interests and created a more diverse local government that better reflects the residents it represents. Term limits will do the same for Community Boards.
Standardized paper and online applications will open Community Boards to every New Yorker interested in participating in local government and end automatic reappointment by requiring existing members to reapply.
We can strengthen Community Boards with training as well as by providing the land use and technical experts needed to stand up to special interests in real estate.
Vote “Yes” to open up applications, provide term limits, and bring greater expertise so we can empower our Community Boards to stand up for our neighborhoods.
Brad Lander, New York City Council Member
The proposal would establish term limits (four 2-year terms) for Community Board members and standardize the appointment process to make the Boards more representative of their communities. It would also provide additional resources to Community Boards, particularly in city planning, so they can be more effective. I hope New Yorkers will vote yes on this proposal.
As a former District Manager of a Community Board, I support term limits. Members have often been nominated because of political connections, which reinforces cronyism and blocks innovation. Members are rarely removed, are reappointed automatically, consider the appointments permanent, and often stay on for decades whether active or not, preventing the development of new leadership. The strongest argument against term limits, loss of member expertise, is just not true. After leaving, these members can still attend meetings, and share their expertise with current members. In thriving organizations, institutional knowledge is passed on, not hoarded. Veteran members should be encouraged to seek new ways to serve, so new leaders can be cultivated and take their turns, strengthening their communities. Term limits will help.
MinKwon Center for Community Action
The MinKwon Center for Community Action supports the ballot measure to set term limits for community boards because it will bring more diversity and fresh perspectives to the decision making process.
I look forward to greater representation on our Community Boards. The life long appointment process does not allow for our Boards to grow with their communities. Many Boards, mine included, are extensions of a select few Community Organizations and non-members need not apply. Additionally, the complete lack of transparency in the appointment process and lack of outreach to the Communities must be addressed.
Open New York
We support Question 3. Most community boards ignore their communities' growing housing needs, as board members tend to be older, whiter, and more housing-secure than their neighbors. Term limits and diversity mandates are needed to increase representation among racial minorities, renters, and younger and newer residents. Community boards that better reflect their communities will make better decisions for their communities.
Laila I. Patino
I am "FOR" This allows for new and others to participate in judicial and governmental matters on a local level. This is a great way to engage new and various perspectives overall.
Reinvent Albany urges you to vote YES on Question 3.
A yes vote on Question 3 generally establishes term limits for community board members of four consecutive two-year terms. It will require borough presidents, who appoint community board members, to create a standardized application for appointment and to document their marketing of vacant community board positions.
A YES vote on this question will result in community boards that are more diverse and representative of the communities they serve. This will help ensure a robust discussion of land use matters before the board, and that voices in the community are heard. All residents will experience a fairer application process and have a better opportunity to serve the community on the board.
Reinvent Albany works for transparent, accountable New York City and State government.
Juan Restrepo, Community Organizer
Community Boards are government at its most local. Appointed by the offices of the Borough President and Council Member, there is a political element to the largely volunteer job.
In my years of coordinating volunteers to join me at Community Board meetings I have seen 3 key faults (among some good things):
Meetings dominated by members who have outsized institutional power
Community Boards that are not close to reflecting the demographics of the community they represent
That community boards are the first step to any political process
Community Boards are political entities and need to be regulated as such - through common sense term limits, like the elected officials who appoint them. This will lead to healthy turnover and give the volunteers 2 years to consider if continuing to serve the Community Board is the best way to continue serving the community. Similarly, the power dynamic between the executive board of a CB and local elected officials DOES EXIST. Many members of the CB spend decades building political capital, and hold it against members of the community who come to meetings, but aren't members.
Decentralize power and encourage new blood - vote YES to term limits
Reed Rubey, Architect
Term limits are important to promote grooming of new members to positions of leadership, and then for them to groom others to follow. In my experience, this is a good model for lively and effective boards. Of course, it means that we will not have the benefit of stellar members with much experience. But, in the balance I think term limits will produce good boards.
I strongly support the charter amendment which will help reform our community boards. Term limits and turnover will encourage boards to behave accountably and over time, make them more reflective of the people they serve. Many boards currently skew older, whiter, and more male-dominated than the populations they represent, which diminishes the political power of many constituencies. Term limits will also prevent individuals or cliques from accruing and abusing power for decades at a time. Regular turnover will challenge an institutional culture where long term residency is overvalued. The boards would benefit from more diverse perspectives and broader expertise to address present environmental and social challenges, from local zoning, street safety, regional water quality, and global climate change. The provision for assistance and training will also help members understand local issues in a broader context and solve them by implementing the best practices recommended by relevant professionals. This would hopefully reduce instances where the short-sighted complaints of a few members obstruct or water down projects that would benefit the greater community and City of New York.
I am voting "Yes" on all..It is time for a change.
People are getting in Office and become to comfortable which, leads to them forgetting why we elected them..
This should keep the aware of why they are there..
Community boards should diversify and move with the times. There is the potentiality for a brain drain or loss of institutional knowledge, but that's assuming that existing board members won't remain involved in their communities following the loss of board membership.
All too often, older, established figures don't reach out to younger generations in an attempt to cultivate them for future leadership roles. Older, established figures won't be around forever. So, it seems better to force the cultivation process on them while the older figures are alive and active.
Other issues I’m hoping will be addressed with term limits: prejudice. It is not appropriate for board members to use derogatory terms in describing members of the public. Term limits would force the removal of more questionable members, who were not really active in the community and should not have been appointed to the board in the first place.
Vote yes for community board reform. Since the advent of community boards in New York City, the city has undergone vast transformations. We have seen everything from urban renewal to urban revitalization, fiscal catastrophe to real estate boom; the ebb and flow of extremes has defined city that is constantly in flux. Our community boards, however, have in many cases seen the same members for decades. Things change quickly here, and so too should the members of our boards. Too often board members represent the ownership class, whereas renters are rarely represented. By having boards that are older and more established members of communities, we lose out on the chance to embrace younger and vibrant civic leaders that represent our future. The disconnect between boards and their communities has only grown more stark in recent years, and this is why I will vote yes for community board reform.
George A. Zeppenfeldt-Cestero, Non-Profit Healthcare Executive
I believe that there must be term limits on boards but only if it is associated with a formal mentorship program to insure a pipeline of future board members. There must be a required/mandatory statement on attendance requirements by board members. All too often, appointed board members are absent from committee and/or full board meetings, yet are kept on the board.
Statements Opposing Proposal
Question 3 - Vote NO!
Term Limits already exist as every Community Board Member must be re-appointed every two years. The Borough President and Council Members may remove anyone who is not worthy when their 2-year term expires. Why (as proposed) wait 8-years to remove someone?
Many current Community Boards have vacancies that remain unfilled. Why? Because it is so difficult to find talented and articulate professionals who passionately care about their communities and are also willing to volunteer their services.
The current process is already transparent and provides equality. Any further change is political rhetoric to support the overdevelopment Lobby.
Don't be fooled by empty promises - VOTE NO.
If you're really interested to make a change - apply for membership on your local Community Board!
Salli Barash, Attorney
Diversity has not been defined to include those who advocate for free market and small government policies. I oppose racial and ethnic quotas in political repression. Focusing on identity group interests fosters division and discrimination. New York is a vibrant, prosperous, creative place because good ideas win out over identity politics.
Michael Blake, New York Assembly
While recognizing that an increase of new voices is always critical and beneficial, when it comes to legislative bodies and in this specific instance, Community Boards, I do not support term limits of four consecutive terms of two years each. If and when the people desire a change, we should create more opportunities for fair and transparent processes for new membership while also not arbitrarily losing critical local knowledge as our neighborhoods are consistently evolving.
Margaret Brewer, Bookkeeper
A two year term limit for community boards wouldn't serve the community well. The community board is the most accessible to the people as well as the checks and balance system that works. If we have the agencies and the organizations that depend on tax dollars making the decisions, "The People" will have decision makers deciding to benefit themselves over the needs. I feel it is integral to have these members in place as long as they are willing to ensure due diligence. Two years is simply 20 months. Learning to navigate the governmental structure, earning the trust of the community and understanding details of proposals and knowing the needs. This will take longer. The position means more than an few public gatherings.
Alida Camp, Mediator/Arbitrator
I am Chair of Community Board 8 Manhattan, but I am not speaking for it. I urge you to vote No.
Community Boards represent your interests. A term limit for Board members of eight short years will weaken Boards by depleting the knowledge and experience essential to speak out against neighborhood-damaging decisions.
By forcing out Board members, you lose the knowledge of complex regulations and the City government that comes from longer terms. Boards lose the very experience and information that allows them to stand between you and overdevelopment. There will be no institutional memory of City commitments and longstanding community needs.
Term limits are unnecessary. Some Board members resign every year, providing opportunities for new appointments. Within the last two years, more than 25% of CB8m has been replaced.
A robust appointment process will ensure the diversity (ethnicity, race, religion, age, income) that makes each community unique.
Communities deserve a voice and the ability to stand up to decisions we don’t want. Knowledgeable and experienced Board members are necessary for the fights over changes affecting our neighborhoods.
Keep Community Boards strong. Vote No
Dr James M Cervino, Marine and Environmental Scientist
Becoming a Community Board 7 member, especially for my position as the environmental chair took time learning from being exposed to this small segment of government at the community level. My position is based on being a Qualified Environmental Professional with a PhD in marine and environmental science, and how this conforms to policy related issues. It takes years to establish an understanding of how to govern while using the knowledge that I have learned to guide voting decisions that come before the board. It takes YEARS to establish an understanding of how to be a productive board member.
Due to the long term knowledge and value that each board member holds from learning and being on the board for long periods of time, there should be NO term limits. Loosing a board member as a result of term limits would cause a loss of experience and knowledge that each missing board member holds. A lack of experience and knowledge, would be the loss of a Seasoned Community Board veteran to a new inexperienced member.
I am opposed to term limits for Community Board Members. Every two years a member must apply for appointment. This is term limits. The participation as a member of a community board is as a volunteer, non salaried individual who is serving the greater community.
Richard Forman, High School Principal
Community Boards do indeed have term limits as evidenced by the necessity of reapplication every two years. Productivity and attendance of every member at Community Board meetings are criterion utilized for recommendation for existing board members to be appointed to subsequent terms. Experience of seasoned Community Board members is vital for the training of new appointees.
Richard N. Gottfried, NY State Assembly Member
Our Community Board helps promote affordable housing, fight against excessive development, and protect our neighborhood. Board members are volunteers who work for no pay. We need board members who’ve been doing it long enough the learn the detailed nuts and bolts of city zoning and housing finance and know neighborhood history. Otherwise, we’re at the mercy of developers, their lawyers and city bureaucrats – and none of them have term limits. But this proposal would set term limits on Community Board members and get rid of experienced members. This would dangerously undermine the community!
Audrey J. Isaacs, attorney
We need long term Community Board members for their institutional memory and expertise; there is already significant turnover in Community Boards; Community Boards already receive all the support they need from their Borough President; providing backup to Community Boards from offices other than the Borough Presidents' offices is duplicative; the City's budget is already strained; we do not need to spend monies for the same function twice
Lowell Kern, Treasurer VOTE NO ON 2 AND 3
VOTE NO ON 2 AND 3
Community Boards are the main line of defense for communities, protecting against inappropriate development. Community board members are neighborhood volunteers who put in long hours for zero pay. Real estate developers must work with the local Community Board as part of the City’s “land use review process.” Community Boards also advocate for local organizations and local concerns as part of the City’s budgeting process. work for more parks and open space, more support for local schools and more affordable housing.
Proposal 3 would weaken our community boards by imposing term limits on Community Board members. This would force out members with the most experience, built-up knowledge and understanding of neighborhood history.
It takes years to become expert in the City’s complex land use and budget rules. Experienced members can effectively advocate and stand up against inappropriate development and effectively get support for local needs in the city budget.
Without experienced leadership and the institutional knowledge of long-serving members, Community Boards will be easy target for developers.
VOTE NO ON 3.
I will be voting NO on Question #3 - placing term limits on community board (CB) members and asking you to do the same on Election Day.
CB members are non-salaried city officials who go through a thorough application process and are appointed by their local City Councilmember and approved by the Borough President. CB members are individuals who usually have a very active role in their neighborhood and provide significant input at the numerous monthly meetings throughout the year that are mandatory to attend. Community boards are consistently relied upon for this input by local elected officials and city agencies before making decisions on government operations.
Through my years of service I have seen a naturally occurring transition of board members as long term service members find they no longer have the desire and/or time to meet their obligations on a CB. Imposing term limits is counter intuitive and counter productive not only for the best interests of the residents in their local neighborhood but to the City of New York as a whole.
I encourage you to join your civic association and if you find it rewarding as I do, then consider applying to serve on your local CB.
Harold Kozak, College Professor
I am against this proposal for a variety of reasons. I have been a past first Vice-Chairman of Community Board 2, and for the past 25 years, I have been a member of Community Board 3, where I currently am the chairman of the Quality of Life Committee. In addition, I was born on Staten Island, and have lived here all my life. I think this proposal is ludicrous to impose term limits on dedicated VOLUNTEERS, who serve their community boards to fight for the residents of their communities.
The Borough President evaluates the applications for prospective CB members based on their backgrounds, including their experience, and sincerity in wanting to help their neighbors. They are VOLUNTEERS, who devote their own time to achieving those goals. Each applicant is chosen based on their QUALIFICATIONS, and not for any other reason. Let's judge people as individuals, and not by gender, race, or politics. CB members fight for their community! Senior members like myself, have the experience needed to make decisions that will benefit the community. Therefore, I vote NO on this proposal.
As we are already subjected to reappointment every other year, it seems pointless to impose term limits on the amount of time we may serve on a community board. Additionally, as unpaid advocates for all New Yorkers, we work very hard to learn the ins and outs of planning and it takes years to do so. Should we be subjected to term limits, the developers of NY would be the ones to benefit by getting their inappropriate plans approved thorough the process by dealing with untrained and inexperienced board members. This is a bad idea that will hurt NY and its landscape for years to come. Of particular note is the fact that at least in our community board, there have not been any prospects beating down our door to become members.
Currently, I am a member of a community board, serving my second term. Every community board has a maximum capacity of 50 board members. My community board has 36. It is safe to say that we may have never had a surplus of applicants to this volunteer, yet crucial, local level of government. In my community, there are not enough people willing, ready, and able to serve on the board. Additionally, there are a number of people who have served on my board since its inception. Why would I stop these people from giving their free time and willingness to take care of their community, just because they've done it longer than 8 years? I feel imposing term limits will make willing volunteers with lenghty institutional and historical knowledge ineligible to continue doing a service to their community. Why penalize people who wish to do good deeds for underserved, impoverished communities? In more affluent communities, I can see why such a limitation may be helpful, but it will certainly undercut progress being made in underserved communities who have a small pool of applicants.
Dian Song Yu
It takes years for someone to learn and understand a community.
As a current community board member, I believe term limits imposed on volunteers to community boards will have unintended consequences that could negatively impact these boards. There are no provisions in the proposed amendment addressing the transfer of existing institutional knowledge with the transition of outgoing long-term board members who have acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge unique to their board areas. If this institutional knowledge is not transferred to a new generation of board members, they will be ill-equipped to pose the difficult questions that should be asked of developers who seek to change the landscapes of communities in the city. Furthermore, the amendment provides little detail on how Borough Presidents would be held accountable in seeking out more diverse candidates for community boards. Without a clear understanding of how this appointment process will change (if at all), this amendment may in effect change nothing about the demographic make up of community boards. Lastly, the amendment does not address how new board members would be trained if the Civil Engagement Commission does not get authorized (in Question 2). The views expressed above are solely my own, these views are not the official position of Queens Community Board 7 on which I serve, the City of New York, or any of its agencies.