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Budget, Education & City Services

Legislation to lower age of Community Board Membership

WHEREAS, The City Council and State Legislature have introduced legislation that would lower the minimum age of full community board membership to sixteen; and

WHEREAS, The legislation allows for but does not require a maximum of two people younger than eighteen per community board; and

WHEREAS, Having younger members on community boards will make community boards more genuinely representative, add a valuable perspective and foster civic engagement in the next generation of leaders; and

WHEREAS, Recent studies have shown that being politically active in high school leads to more involvement as an adult; and

WHEREAS,  Community Board Five feels that while teen community board members may face challenges such as carrying through on their commitment, juggling multiple activities, being intimidated about  participating in board debates and having to sometimes attend meetings that run late,  we also believe there are many teens capable of handling such challenges.  Furthermore, teen members would go through the same screening process as adults; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five supports the legislation lowering the age of community board membership to sixteen and suggests that applicants younger than eighteen supplement the two references already required with a letter from a teacher, guidance counselor, and/or parent attesting to their ability to fulfill their community board responsibilities.

The above resolution passed with a vote of   26 in favor, 5 opposed, 1 abstention.

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