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2019-2020 SPARK Boston Council announced

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the newly-selected Mayor's SPARK Boston Council.

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."

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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."

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. 

The 2019-2020 Council includes:
  1. Audrey Seraphin, Allston
  2. Juan Cantu, Allston
  3. Cristian Morales, Allston
  4. Carrolee Moore, Allston
  5. Oscar Lopez, Allston
  6. Claire Coletti, Back Bay
  7. Frank Ulip, Beacon Hill
  8. Kat Waxstein, Brighton
  9. Lexi Kantor, Brighton 
  10. Intiya Isaza, Charlestown
  11. Chris Canton, Charlestown
  12. Anita Yip, Chinatown
  13. Latia Holmes, Chinatown
  14. Kaitlin McCarthy, Chinatown
  15. Ayanna Polk, Dorchester
  16. Ellie Sanchez, Dorchester
  17. Stacy Cruz, Dorchester
  18. Kathleen Carroll, Dorchester
  19. Gabriela (Gigi) Coletta, East Boston 
  20. Fernando Ortiz, East Boston
  21. Jared Staley, East Boston
  22. Shannon Montanez, East Boston
  23. Aaron Dy, Fenway-Kenmore
  24. Sarah Abkowitz, Fenway-Kenmore
  25. Monee Vance, Hyde Park
  26. Delanoe Johnson, Jamaica Plain
  27. Evelyn "Ellie" Hitt, Jamaica Plain
  28. Daphney Pacouloute, Mattapan 
  29. Julia Gueron, Mission Hill
  30. Meredith Moshier, North End
  31.  Nicole Shults, Roslindale
  32. KT Merseles, Roslindale
  33. Jhanel Chew, Roxbury
  34. Mark Martinez, Roxbury
  35. Kiara Kerr, Roxbury
  36. Ashli Molina, South Boston
  37. Nayeli Rodriguez, South End
  38. Mike McDermott, South End
  39. Alen Amini, West End
  40. Matt Murphy, West Roxbury

For more information, please visit the Spark Boston website

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