2019-2020 SPARK Boston Council announced

BOSTON - Wednesday, October 9, 2019-  Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the newly-selected Mayor's SPARK Boston Council. The diverse, 40-member group will spend the next 12 months working to continue to open up new lines of communication between young adults and leaders in City government.

"The SPARK Council has worked with my administration to highlight and advocate for their shared values - voter participation and activation, a more equitable and affordable child care system, comprehensive climate change policies, resiliency in our immigrant communities, and much more," said Mayor Walsh. "I am confident the 2019-2020 Council will continue to advocate for their ideas to make Boston better for all."

The 2019-2020 SPARK Boston Council members live in 20 different neighborhoods. The group is 60 percent people of color and includes environmental scientists, marketing experts, public servants, youth workers, consultants, urban planners, artists, students, and more. Approximately a fourth of the Council are native Bostonians, while others grew up as far outside of Boston as Ohio, Indiana, California,Texas, and Jamaica. Thirty five percent of Boston residents were between the ages of 20 and 34 as of 2015, according to an  analysis from the Boston Foundation.

"Boston millennials are diverse, impactful, and committed to making Boston a home they can be proud of," said Amy Mahler, SPARK Boston Director. "With the 2020 Census on the horizon, this year's Council is committed to making sure all of our voices are counted. A major theme of our programming for this cohort will be raising awareness and increasing participation in the Census, as renters, those who live in dormitories, recent immigrants, and those with lower income or educational attainment are historically undercounted."

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SPARK Boston, housed in the Mayor's Civic Engagement Cabinet, is responsible for advising Mayor Walsh on issues affecting the millennial population and working with City departments and community stakeholders to help solve those issues. The Council holds monthly meetings and puts on programs focusing on connecting millennials with partners. Programs include neighborhood meetups, voter registration pop-ups, salary negotiation workshops, and Chief Chats, an event series which allows citizens to hear directly from Mayor Walsh's cabinet members on a variety of issues.

"One of the main reasons I moved to Boston was to be closer to the action, in a place full of smart people doing the exciting work of building a dynamic and growing urban community, with the added benefit of more of those people actually being my age," said Intiya Isaza, a new SPARK Council member from Charlestown. "SPARK is a wonderful opportunity to tap into that network and have a seat at the table."

"It's an incredible honor to be selected for SPARK Council, one I certainly don't take lightly," said Audrey Seraphin from Allston. "As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, this opportunity to represent my neighborhood and the arts sector could be once-in-a-lifetime. I'm so thankful to both Amy and Mayor Walsh. I'm ready to get to work and advocate for the millennials of Boston!"

This year, the SPARK Boston program received 183 applications for the Council, showing a robust interest for involvement and engagement. Projects for this Council cohort have included voter registration pop-ups at local breweries, hosting Boston's Creative Economy Mingle for the Chamber of Commerce's FUNinBOS Festival, the Council's first hackathon in the Future of Childcare Challenge, an event partnership with Suffolk University centered on professional development, and the continuation of the Chief Chat series.

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The 2019-2020 Council includes:

  1. Audrey Seraphin, Allston

    Juan Cantu, Allston

    Cristian Morales, Allston

    Carrolee Moore, Allston

    Oscar Lopez, Allston

    Claire Coletti, Back Bay

    Frank Ulip, Beacon Hill

    Kat Waxstein, Brighton

    Lexi Kantor, Brighton

    Intiya Isaza, Charlestown

    Chris Canton, Charlestown

    Anita Yip, Chinatown

    Latia Holmes, Chinatown

    Kaitlin McCarthy, Chinatown

    Ayanna Polk, Dorchester

    Ellie Sanchez, Dorchester

    Stacy Cruz, Dorchester

    Kathleen Carroll, Dorchester

    Gabriela (Gigi) Coletta, East Boston

    Fernando Ortiz, East Boston

    Jared Staley, East Boston

    Shannon Montanez, East Boston

    Aaron Dy, Fenway-Kenmore

    Sarah Abkowitz, Fenway-Kenmore

    Monee Vance, Hyde Park

    Delanoe Johnson, Jamaica Plain

    Evelyn "Ellie" Hitt, Jamaica Plain

    Daphney Pacouloute, Mattapan

    Julia Gueron, Mission Hill

    Meredith Moshier, North End

    Nicole Shults, Roslindale

    KT Merseles, Roslindale

    Jhanel Chew, Roxbury

    Mark Martinez, Roxbury

    Kiara Kerr, Roxbury

    Ashli Molina, South Boston

    Nayeli Rodriguez, South End

    Mike McDermott, South End

    Alen Amini, West End

    Matt Murphy, West Roxbury

For more information, please visit boston.gov/sparkboston.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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