The Power of Community Boards
What are community boards?
Established in 1976 by Raymond Shonholtz in San Francisco, California, United States, Community Boards is a community-based mediation program. Several volunteers from the neighborhoods of the city participate in the program, working to help resolve disagreements and repair relationships, in addition to healing or preventing rifts in the community.
When do they meet?
The majority of community boards meet monthly to conduct business in an hour or two. Some community boards, however, meet only a few times a year so they organize a full-day meeting.
What’s their format?
They are formatted as a parliamentary structure, where each has an executive committee that consists of a chair, vice chairs, a secretary, and a treasurer. Each individual committee board creates their own format based on their specific needs of their district. Community boards are open to the general public and meet once a month. Committees may meet more frequently depending on their needs of responsibility. (Most members serve in 2-year terms).
How do they enact change?
Typically, board meetings follow a predictable pattern. Meetings called on a special basis are characterized by urgency and importance. Consent agenda items tend to be routine, standard, non-controversial, and self-explanatory. Examples include:
How to be involved in a community board?
To join, you have to apply through your Borough President’s office and complete an interview and application. If you have further questions, check out your local community board’s website and contact them through email. You can also become a public member through becoming apart of the subcommittee! (You do not need to be appointed by a council member or borough president for that specific committee).
When the applications are due for 2022:
Bronx: Rolling Application (February 14th, 2023 is advised)
Brooklyn: February 14th 2023
Manhattan: March 17th 2023
Queens: Feb 16th 2023
Staten Island: Rolling Application (February 14th, 2023 is advised)
How to search up your own community board:
Official website to learn more about community boards:
Access to main voting page (from Youth Power Coalition website):
Youth Voting Rights
Recording of our Lower The Voting Age: Community Boards Event below!