Special to the Patriot-Bridge
Mayor Michelle Wu announced the newly-selected 2022-2023 SPARK Boston Council. The diverse, 40-member group will spend the next 12 months working to connect young adults to leaders in City government, City services, and one another. The SPARK Boston Council will advise Mayor Wu on City policies and programs affecting 20- to 35-year-olds.
“The future of Boston depends on having a well-informed and connected community of leaders in every generation,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This year’s SPARK Boston Council spans many cultures, languages, and corners of our city—all united by a passion for civic engagement. I look forward to collaborating with the new members as we work to make Boston a city for everyone.”
The 2022-2023 SPARK Boston Council members live in neighborhoods throughout Boston and come from a wide variety of cultural and professional backgrounds. One fifth of the Council are native Bostonians, while others grew up as far away as Syria, Venezuela, and Jamaica. The new members come from a wide range of work industries, including public service, higher education, and scientific research. Sixteen members are multilingual.
“This is a pivotal moment for SPARK Boston, as Boston’s first millennial Mayor appoints her first council,” said SPARK Boston Director Audrey Seraphin. “I am delighted to work with these bright young minds to bring Boston’s largest age group together again, both virtually and in-person, after a difficult two and half years for our community.”
For the first time, new SPARK Council members will be supported by eight returning SPARK captains, who will provide mentorship and organizational assistance critical to the program’s continued growth and success.
“I am excited to enter this next year on SPARK as one of the new captains,” said returning council member Dianna Bronchuk of Roslindale. “I’ve learned about and engaged with so many new opportunities in Boston through SPARK, and I am looking forward to bringing those to the new council members in this role.”
“It’s such an honor to continue working to better our City, especially now as a captain,” said Anthony Nguyen, a lifelong resident of Dorchester. “I’m excited to help lead the new council to reach our potential as a talented, diverse family dedicated to civic engagement.”
SPARK Boston, housed in the Mayor’s Community Engagement Cabinet, is responsible for advising Mayor Wu on issues affecting millennial and Gen Z populations and working with City departments and community stakeholders to create innovative solutions. The Council meets monthly with City Hall leaders and creates free programming for their peers including voter resources, events highlighting the City’s on-going initiatives, and professional and social networking opportunities across Boston’s many neighborhoods.
“I’m so grateful to be offered the opportunity to serve on the 2022-2023 SPARK Boston Council,” said Kennedy Avery, new member from Beacon Hill. “Enthusiastic and innovative young people have long been committed to improving the City, and I can’t wait to work with my peers to connect the innovation and energy of young people in the City to the levers of power within City Hall.”
This year, the SPARK Boston program received 110 applications for the 2022-2023 Council, showing continued robust interest for involvement and engagement. Projects for the 2021-2022 SPARK Boston Council included the creation of the Allston-Brighton Renters’ Garden Contest, the on-going Pint with a Planner series, the Haitian Migrant Household Goods Drive with IFSI, the 2021 Living & Learning Debt Survey, Rat City Arts Fest, and countless voter registration pop-ups and neighborhood social events.
The 2022-2023 Council includes:
1 Sydney Neugebauer, Allston
2 Anthony O’Neil, Allston
3 Bianca Beltran, Back Bay
4 Kennedy Avery, Beacon Hill
5 Janine Jay, Beacon Hill
6 Olivia S. Harris, Brighton
7 Cristen Mathews, Brighton
8 Steven Murnane, Jr., Brighton
9 Christopher Rockwell, Charlestown
10 Liza Perry, Charlestown
11 Abby Jamiel, Dorchester
12 Brenna Galvin, Dorchester
13 Alexa Monfort, Dorchester
14 Yakeisha L. Gray Sinclair, Dorchester
15 Tania Jaime Lopez, Dorchester
16 Taufiq Dhanani, Dorchester