Spark Boston launched to better engage City's millennial population
May 18, 2016
During a celebration Monday evening, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the strategic rebranding of SPARK Boston, formerly known as the Mayor's ONEin3 initiative, to help draw a larger and more diverse range of Boston's millennials into civic participation. The rebranding is part of a concerted effort by the City of Boston to better engage, communicate and collaborate with residents between the ages of 20-34, a demographic that comprises over a third of the city's overall population.
"The City of Boston's vibrant and diverse millennial population is one of our greatest assets," said Mayor Walsh. "We know that our young people care deeply about this city and its future, and we recognize the need for new tools and strategies to interact with them. It is our intention through SPARK Boston to tap into the energy and creativity of our young leaders to encourage them to rethink civic engagement and empower them to have an impact, make a different and spark change in their own communities."
SPARK Boston builds on Mayor Walsh's proactive engagement of Boston's young adults by encouraging their active participation in the city's policies and programs. Young adults make up about 45 percent of eligible voters and nearly half of the city's workforce. They are an economic engine, adding $1 billion annually in goods and services to Boston.
"Since 2004, ONEin3 has been helping young adults build relationships and strengthen their personal and professional networks here in Boston," said Erin Santhouse, Director of SPARK Boston. "While this remains a vital function of the program, SPARK Boston will focus on engaging the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of city government. This will shape how the City designs and develops policies, convenes stakeholders for important initiatives, and works collaboratively with young people to shapeBoston's future."
The celebration drew over 300 young adults to the TD Garden, including members of the SPARK Council. During the event, Mayor Walsh encouraged attendees to become involved in SPARK Boston and other city programs. Fifteen City of Boston departments and related programs were on-site to showcase their initiatives, distribute informational materials, promote upcoming events, recruit volunteers, register new voters, sign people up for mailing lists and more.
The following departments and programs were in attendance: Greenovate, Renew Boston, Go Boston 2030, Boston Home Center, Mayor's Health Line, Office of Recovery Services, Imagine Boston 2030, Mayor's Housing Innovation Lab, Women Entrepreneurs Boston, Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement, Elections Department, Mayor's Mentoring Movement, City Hall To Go, Boston 311, Department of Innovation and Technology and StartHub.