Membership in a community board is an essential way to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. There are 59 community boards in the city, each composed of up to 50 non-salaried members appointed by the county president and half nominated by City Council members who represent the community district. The committees of the Board of Directors are responsible for most of the planning and work on the issues that are acted on at Board meetings. Community boards have three primary functions: assessing the needs of their own neighborhoods, meeting with city agencies, and making recommendations in the city's budget process.
They also hold public hearings on land use issues, the City's budget, and other important topics to give people in the community an opportunity to express their opinions. Anyone over 16 years old can request an appointment at a community meeting where they live, work, or have an important interest by picking up an application at that board's office. In addition to making recommendations on requests for land use rezoning, the boards are also involved in the approval of licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages. The Community Board, its district manager, and its office staff act as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents. However, they cannot direct any agency or city official to perform any task.
Most of what community boards decide to do depends largely on them, that is, on the members of the community who show up for their meetings. Community boards play a critical role in improving quality of life for all New Yorkers. We urge you to learn how your Community Board can help you and how you can help your Community Board.