Community Board Reform

New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Community boards, comprised of fifty volunteer members, serve for staggered two-year terms. Joining your local board is an eye-opening civics lesson and a great way to get involved in the community.

As per the Manhattan Borough President's website, Community Boards have a number of key responsibilities:

  • Monitoring the delivery of city services;
  • Planning and reviewing land use applications; 
  • Making recommendations for each year’s city budget;
  • Considering distribution of liquor licenses, sidewalk café applications, and permits for street fairs and other outdoor events; and
  • Providing input to city agencies.

The best way to learn more is to start ending your Community Board's full board meetings.  If you are interested in applying you should consider also attending a subject matter committee meeting in order to become a public member of that committee.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee I am tasked with oversight of Community Boards and have produced a report on best practices for recruitment and appointment to the local boards. The report calls for a process that takes into account attendance, expertise and diversity.

The next round of applications will begin in December and must be postmarked by January. Previous members must reapply and reappointments are not automatic. Applications are available at the Manhattan Borough President's Website:

If you choose to apply online, please let me know that you have done so.

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