UPPER EAST SIDE — They range from labor organizers to past environmental lawyers to longtime logistics experts.
But the new Community Board 8 members all have at least one thing in common — a strong connection to the Upper East Side, appointees and officials tell DNAinfo.com New York.
Lowell Barton, for example, said he first became involved in community board activities when living in Queens. And four years ago when he moved to Yorkville — where Barton's father had lived for some 45 years — he started checking out CB8 meetings.
"I like to help out and find out what's going on," said Barton, 51, who is vice president of Laborers Local 1010. "I feel it's important to be involved in your community."
When Barton saw he had the time to make the commitment to board — at least three nights per month — he decided to put in an application, he said.
"I was very excited," said Barton of his appointment. "I was very honored."
Some of Barton's top concerns include the long-lamented lack of open park space on the Upper East Side and the planned East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station.
"I'd like to see them move that somewhere else," Barton, a construction professional, said.
He added that his experience as a leader of the union equips him for navigating tricky community issues with many stakeholders.
"You're dealing with people with very common interests," he said. "When you're in a position to make a decision, you're in a position to listen to all sides of a story to come to the right decision."
The announcement of the new appointees was announced on April 1. They were placed on the board by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Council members Jessica Lappin and Daniel Garodnick.
Timothy Yeo, meanwhile, hopes to bring his professional experience to the table in his new role as a CB8 member. Yeo, 28, a transportation analyst for Abt SRBI who has a masters degree in transportation science from CUNY, said he would like to address safety concerns and hopes to get on CB8's transportation committee.
"I'll definitely want to address some of the conflicts with people advocating for different transportation modes. The discussion has turned into people really vilifying different transportation modes," said Yeo, a Yorkville resident.
"I'd like to see some more cooperation — some more compromising — because I think pretty much everyone isn't exclusively a cyclist or exclusively a walker or exclusively a driver or exclusively a passenger."
Other new appointees also have deep educational ties to the area, according to information released by Stringer's office.
► Rebecca Seawright, who received her law degree from CUNY, serves as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Feminist Press at the University. She's also on the CUNY Law School Board of Directors, according to officials. Seawright has two children, both of whom attend local public schools.
► Sophia James was born and raised on the Upper East Side and demonstrates significant interest in area schools as well. James, who graduated with a masters of science in educational psychology from SUNY Albany, has served as a public member of CB8's Youth & Education Committee since 2010, according to officials. A member of the NYS Democratic Committee and Manhattan Young Democrats, James, 30, works as a management consultant with Toll International.
► Abraham Salcedo, a Yorkville resident who works as a Morgan Stanley VP, got his law degree from Fordham University. The London School of Economics alum also boasts environmental law experience because of a stint with the National Resources Defense Council, officials said. Salcedo is also a licensed CPA.