NYC Council Passes Resolution Allowing 16- and 17-year olds on Community Boards

June 16, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2014

Press Contact: Sarah Andes, (936) 419-9036, sandes@generationcitizen.org

New York, NY – Generation Citizen welcomes the passage of City Council Resolution 115, which calls on the New York State legislature and Governor to allow 16- and 17-year olds to serve on NYC community boards, and which came before the Council for a vote earlier today.

The resolution supports Assembly bill A.2448 and Senate bill S.4142 and their amendment of the Public Officers Law and City Charter to allow youth participation on community boards. The resolution was introduced by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and was co-sponsored by Council Members Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Ritchie Torres, and James Vacca. The Senate bill is sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza of Staten Island and the Assembly bill is sponsored by Assembly Member Nily Rozic of Queens.

The resolution was also supported by Council Members Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Andrew Cohen, Costa Constantinides, Andy L. King, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso, Deborah Rose, James Van Bramer, Rosie Mendez, Carlos Menchaca, Donovan Richards, James Vacca, Daniel Dromm , and Laurie Cumbo. It was passed by the Governmental Operations committee unanimously on June 9th.

“I have been working for years to ensure that young people have a greater voice in their communities. Allowing them to serve on Community Boards benefits communities by bringing a needed youth perspective to the forefront – and benefits youth by engaging them in civic activities at a young age,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

“There are 8.3 million people in our city, and 20 percent of them are under the age of 18. These New Yorkers deserve a voice on their local community boards,” said City Council Member Ben Kallos. “When Scott Stringer was 16, he was appointed to his local board. He helped his community and laid the groundwork for a lifetime of public service. I believe we will see many more stories like this one when young people can serve on their boards, and call on Albany to pass legislation right away.”

“It was appropriate and wonderful for this to happen today, with student “City Councilmen for a Day” sitting alongside their Councilmen, witnessing the vote, said Sarah Andes of Generation Citizen. “What a strong statement to those young people that their voices matter and that they are expected and encouraged to continue to be civically engaged long after they’ve left the Council floor.”

“On behalf of the Teens on Board Group, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the NYC Council for its resounding endorsement of Resolution 115,” said the Police Athletic League’s Al Kurland. “This sends a powerful message to Albany.”

With the support of Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, the bills will come before the New York State legislature later this month.

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Generation Citizen is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 tax exempt organization which does not endorse candidates; our goal is to engage our staff, participants, and stakeholders in political and civic action on issues that matter to them personally and in their communities. The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the writer alone and do not reflect the opinions of Generation Citizen.

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