Are you looking to get involved in your local community and make a difference? Becoming a member of a New York City Community Board is a great way to do just that. Community Boards are municipal bodies of up to 50 members representing the Board, appointed by the president of their respective county, half of them on the recommendation of their local City Council member. They serve on a voluntary basis for staggered two-year periods. In order to become a part of a Community Board, you must live, work, or have a significant interest in the neighborhoods served by the community district and be a resident of New York City.
Additionally, we are looking for candidates with a background of community participation, experience and skills, and who have attended board meetings. A great way to get started in the world of community boards is to become a member of the public. You don't need to be appointed by the county president or a member of the City Council, and you don't have to wait for an official inauguration. Once you have started attending committee meetings as an engaged assistant and have met the members of the board, the president can appoint you as a public member, which means that you can serve on the subcommittees. New York City is divided into 59 geographical community districts, each of which has its own designated community board.
Board members are your neighbors: people who live, work, own a business, or have any other important interest in the Community District. The Community Board hires a district manager who is responsible for managing the District Office. According to Winfield, a community board is “the entry level to local government”, where problems at the local level must be raised and addressed in a consultative manner. The Community Boards also have several committees, such as the Education Committee, the land use and budget review committees, the police and sanitation committees, to name a few. We encourage the public to attend the various public hearings, committee meetings, briefings and special events of the Community Board to actively participate in the issues before the Community Board at the most popular level. Community Board 17 has many public facilities, public spaces, businesses, service providers and other services that are not found in many other communities located throughout the metropolitan area.
The City Charter also allows boards to present their own plans for the development, growth and improvement of their communities. Anyone with a residence, business, professional or other significant interest in a community district in a given area is eligible to be appointed as a member of the Community Board serving that area. Each of the community boards has up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the local county president, half of them nominated by the City Council members who represent the community district (that is, some boards have made an effort to recruit members that accurately reflect the communities they serve). Some community boards require you to be part of at least one subcommittee; others ask you to be part of at least two. The Community Boards were created by City Charter and their roles and responsibilities are defined in chapters 69 and 70. The CB11 District Office has two main functions: processing complaints and requests for services from citizens and providing administrative support to the Community Board.
The Department of Transportation has been so carried away by meetings in bicycle lanes that cycling advocates have lobbied to repeal a law requiring them to intervene in bicycle infrastructure. Perris adds: “If community meetings aren't your thing or don't fit your schedule but you want to participate, there are lots of ways. Many people looking to work in government or run for office in New York first get their experience on a community board”.