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High School Senior Dodge Landesman is Manhattan's Youngest Community Board Member

By DNAinfo Staff on April 1, 2010 1:55pm  | Updated on April 1, 2010 1:50pm

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GRAMERCY — When he gets to college in the fall, Dodge Landesman, a York Prep senior, plans to take political classes in the morning, while getting experience in the city's political arena in the afternoon.

But Community Board 6's newest appointee, and the youngest member of city government, is no neophyte. Landesman, 19, challenged City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez for her seat in 2009, but dropped out to campaign for Yetta Kurland, who went up against Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

"I would say I was pleasantly surprised, but not too surprised by the appointment," said Landesman. "I think I made a name for myself. I worked in the community and people took me seriously."

Landesman — who loves Will Ferrell movies and amusement parks, but doesn't much like music made after 1964 — was appointed by Borough President Scott Stringer, who was himself appointed to a community board as a young man by then-Borough President Percy Sutton.

"Community boards are a unique aspect of New York City government intended to fairly represent all members of our communities, including young people," Stringer said.

Landesman had been lobbying Stringer for a post on the board for several months, Landesman said.

He hopes to study modern history or political science at either Manhattanville or Bard College next year.

During his City Council campaign, Landesman advocated for special education and said he planned on making that a focus of the board's Youth and Education committee.

"I noticed with the election of [President Barack] Obama that so many young people participated," Landesman said. "I thought it was important to continue that."