City Council Backs CB Age Drop

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

Last week, the City Council passed a resolution to support a bill in the State Legislature that would lower the age restriction for community board members.

On June 11, the Council approved a resolution calling for the State Assembly and State Senate to pass and for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law a bill that would allow 16 and 17 year olds to be appointed to New York City Community Boards.

Several Queens councilmembers sponsored the resolution, including Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).

“Community boards deal with a wide range of concerns, offering a unique and practical experience in civic engagement both locally and statewide,” Richards said. “I ask that our legislators in Albany consider lowering the age requirements for our community boards, because the earlier we start teaching our youth about their communities and how they can make a difference, the better.”

The bill was originally created by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Hillcrest), who introduced it into the Assembly in January 2013.

“It is really wonderful to have the support of the City Council and to show that there’s a citywide effort behind the legislation,” Rozic said.

The bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Assembly and was referred to the Rules Committee on June 3, according to its website. In the Senate, where Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) is sponsoring it, the bill has four co-sponsors and has been sitting in the Investigations and Government Operations Committee since January. According to Rozic, it should come up for a vote in the Assembly soon.

“I am quite hopeful that it will pass both the Assembly and the Senate before the end of session,” she said. “We have bipartisan support for this legislation in both houses.”

Four of the City’s Borough Presidents signed on to a letter sent to Albany in support of the measure. When asked to comment, a spokesperson for Melinda Katz said she was in favor as well.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @JoeMarvilli.