Wu announces applications open forthe 2024-2025 Spark Boston Council

Special to the Gazette

Mayor Michelle Wu has announced applications for the 2024-2025 SPARK Boston Council are now open and available online. The SPARK Boston Council is a volunteer leadership and civic engagement council made up of 20 to 35 year olds charged with spearheading the City’s efforts to engage Boston’s young adults. Applications are due Friday, July 5, 2024.

“SPARK Boston is an invaluable way to get involved in city government and have your voice heard about the top issues impacting you and your peers,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I look forward to getting to know the new SPARK Boston Council, and thank the outgoing one for their hard work in representing all corners of our city.”

Under the direction of the SPARK Boston Director Aidan McDonough, the 2024-2025 Council will create programming and advise Boston’s leaders to help the city grow as an inviting, connected, culturally rich, and sustainable home for young adults. Throughout the SPARK Boston Council term, participants hear from key members of the Mayor’s administration, leaders within City Hall, and community organizations about topics like climate resilience, education, housing, nightlife, and civic innovation.

“SPARK Boston is an opportunity for young adults interested in getting more civically involved and engaged in our local government process of helping Boston residents,” said SPARK Boston Director Aidan McDonough. “By applying for the SPARK Council you are gaining a network of like minded peers and will be in rooms with decision makers and shakers who work towards creating a better Boston for everyone!”

Past council members have come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds including public service, higher education, and scientific research. The SPARK Council meets on the first Monday of each month. Council members are encouraged to attend one community meeting and one SPARK event or subcommittee meeting a month. Applicants must reside in Boston, and be willing to commit 15 hours monthly to the SPARK Boston program. SPARK Boston and its previous iteration ONEin3 have now been serving young adults and the City of Boston for over 18 years. 

“SPARK Boston Council members are changemakers in our city. I am so proud of the work of our current Council for their leadership this year,” said Chief of Community Engagement Brianna Millor. “If you are a young adult and interested in deepening your service within Boston, I encourage you to apply to become a member of the 2024-2025 SPARK Boston Council.”

The 2023-2024 SPARK Council will be continuing their work through the end of their term this August, but have already taken part in several opportunities including attending Mayor Wu’s State of the City, volunteering during the Office of Civic Organizing’s Civic Summit, and organizing thousands of toys for Toys for Tots. The 2023-2024 council has continued legacy & signature programming such as: Neighborhood Socials, which are events designed to bring City Hall staff and local leaders into spaces young people already patronize; Chief Chats, fireside discussions with cabinet leadership; and Pint with a Planner, an event series in partnership with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).

“If you’re looking to grow your perspective and meet people you would otherwise not, then SPARK Boston is for you,” said Samantha Montaño, State Representative and SPARK Boston alum. “I had an amazing experience learning from my cohort and seeing our city through their eyes. If I had the opportunity to rejoin, I would definitely do it again!” 

“SPARK Boston provides members with opportunities to engage with civic leaders including reconnecting with alumni,” said Long Tong, current SPARK council member. “The most impactful activity I worked on was coming up with a way to create voter turnout maps of Boston which allowed residents to see how engaged each neighborhood of Boston is with the City, and how engaged the City should be with each neighborhood of Boston.” 

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