Community boards in New York City weigh in on liquor licenses, budget items and local development rules. Chances are, they’ve hosted a heated debate in your neighborhood over future housing, or roadway changes.
But what is a community board, really? And how do its members get a say in all those hyperlocal issues, from street cleaning to rezonings?
Now’s the time to learn — because boards across the boroughs are choosing new members very soon.
For those curious about what boards do and how to get involved, listen up: Most of the five borough presidents are taking applications between January and March.
Here’s what to know about the process, and what to expect if you’re chosen to join:
How do you join a community board?
First step is: apply!
Applications have opened already for some of the boroughs, and we’ll update this list as more applications are published. Here are the links and deadlines:
- Brooklyn — Deadline is Feb. 18.
- Queens — Deadline is Feb. 16.
- Manhattan — Deadline is March 1.
- Staten Island — Applications are accepted year-round.
- The Bronx — No applications are available yet.
There are 59 boards total, each corresponding with a community district, groupings of neighborhoods that can include up to 250,000 people.
Each board has up to 50 members, all volunteers, and have no minimum number of members. Board members serve via staggered two-year terms, which means half must be reappointed or replaced every year.
All of those people are appointed by their own borough president. City Council members can recommend new applicants, but the final call rests with the BP.