It may be a news item that is glossed over this week, but the City Council’s recent support of legislation lowering the age of Community Board members to allow 16 and 17 year olds could be the beginning of a great change within New York City government.
We have been very clear in our belief that there needs to be a change with how our elected officials choose to behave. Preparing a new generation for a life of civic engagement will no doubt open doors for many young people who may not have considered a life of public service.
Serving on a Community Board will give teens an appreciation for how local government works in the Big Apple, which could teach them valuable skills for their future development. Allowing these teens to serve also gives these boards the benefit of a new perspective that might otherwise be ignored. Decisions made at the Community Board level – not to mention at the City Council, State Legislature and above – frequently overlook the needs of
If City leaders are serious about wanting the next generation to stay here, raise a family, start new businesses and create new opportunities, they need to see that their opinions matter. Continuing to ignore them runs the risk of sending them off to find a new hotbed for young entrepreneurs.
We look forward to seeing a new generation of Queens leaders get their feet wet in City government as members of their Community Boards, and we hope these groups welcome them with open arms.