PARKLAND, FL- D.J. Brauner has had an interesting month in quarantine. The Stoneman Douglas freshman had applied to become Parkland's Mayor for the Month before the Coronavirus Pandemic arrived, and the City of Parkland and Mayor Christine Hunschofsky have welcomed Brauner into the process in the midst of this unique season. Brauner has had a variety of experiences serving as Mayor for the Month in April.
"It is an honor to have been chosen and I am happy that Mayor Hunschofsky and The City of Parkland decided to continue the program during this unprecedented time," said Brauner.
One of the areas Brauner has been working on is awareness and participation in the 2020 Census by Parkland residents.
"Knowing it would be challenging to go places to help during this time, I decided to record a video to try and help increase Parkland's participation in the Census. Since my video, the Parkland response rate has increased from 64.9% to 68.1%. I hope my participation may have helped and will continue to help our city," he shares.
Brauner has been involved in student government for a number years, dating back to his time at Park Trails Elementary. He has served in the roles of Student Council President (Park Trails), Westglades Vice President, 8th Grade Representative (Westglades), and 9th Grade Student Body Senator at Stoneman Douglas. He's also represented his school and classmates at events in the area, including running a fundraiser for the Florida Panthers. Brauner's interest in local government spans many areas, and he looks forward to further participation.
"I am interested in learning more about areas within our community such as our libraries, parks, roadways and parking and other areas which make up our city government," says Brauner.
The experience wasn't just an exercise in learning the nuts and bolts of government. It was also an opportunity to see and understand how different roles and positions intersect with each other within the governmental structure.
"I really enjoyed trying to make a difference in my community in addition to learning and seeing first-hand how a Commission Meeting is run and how agenda items are presented, discussed and potentially approved," he added.
Brauner recommends the experience to any student that is interested in the idea of learning about what makes a city work.
"I think the City of Parkland provides a great opportunity for many students to participate in this program. When I was School VP of Westglades Middle School, Sinan Kassim was School President. I enjoyed working with Sinan who was a great leader and when I heard he was a Mayor For A Month, I knew it would be a great experience. Now, I hope that someone will hear that I was involved in this program and may want to become the next participant."
Ultimately, D.J. Brauner hopes to get the best education and experiences possible, which will set him up for success down the road.
"My goal is to receive good grades throughout my high school years and to be accepted to a great college. I am currently interested in sports, leadership, business, medicine and law. I hope to find opportunities in these areas while also having an open mind to other possibilities for my future," summarizes Brauner. " I am very proud to have been a City of Parkland Mayor for A Month and I want to sincerely thank Mayor Hunschofsky and the City of Parkland for this great opportunity."