Mayor Martin J. Walsh last week announced the 2018-2019 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.
“Boston is the home to highest concentration of millennials in the country and we count on them to help us grow as a city and community,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to collaborating with these capable young residents on how we can make Boston a more equitable and enjoyable home for all communities.”
The 2018-2019 SPARK Boston Council is comprised of 40 Boston residents, who live in 17 different neighborhoods across Boston. This group includes architects, entrepreneurs, teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, community organizers, restaurant professionals, lawyers, and representatives from many other industries across the public and private sectors. Over a fourth of the Council are native Bostonians, while others grew up as far outside of Boston as El Salvador, Florida, France, Georgia, Mississippi, India and beyond.
“A city’s success and community is determined by who shows up and gets involved,” said Amy Mahler, SPARK Boston director. “SPARK Boston trains this cohort of young Bostonians on how our city government works, how to participate in our civic institutions, and how our neighborhoods define our City. Together, we’ll create and connect programming and resources to help our peers, serve as a focus group for City leaders and programs, and participate in Boston’s civic life. As long as we live in Boston, it is our responsibility and privilege to serve and support our home.”
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. Directed by Amy Mahler, the Council holds general meetings once a month, attends community meetings monthly and puts on programs focusing on connecting millennials with these partners. Programs include neighborhood socials, salary negotiation workshops, homeownership and leadership open houses, and Chief Chats, a new series of events which allows citizens to hear directly from Mayor Walsh’s Cabinet Chiefs on a variety of issues and ask questions on those subjects.
The 2018-2019 Council members from the downtown neighborhoods include:
Tanya Pham, Back Bay
Marguerite Silverman, Back Bay
Adrienne Zak, Beacon Hill
Corinne Wardian, Fenway-Kenmore, Mika Gross, Fenway-Kenmore, Casey Baines, South End, Maggie Riddell, South End, Michelle Sohn, South End
and Greg Bohenko, West End