December 23, 2016
By Corey Bearak, The Public Ought To Know
Queens, NY – Almost two years ago The Public Ought To Know urged members of labor unions to participate in their local neighborhoods by joining their local Community Boards.
Community Boards provide an advisory role and input on land use and budget matters. In some cases, elected officials will follow the land use recommendations of community boards. On significant local development, a community board can help shape the project. Of particular significance to labor, this includes whether union labor builds a project and union workers get employed by the business(es) that operate once a projects gets completed.
As a member of Queens Community Board 13, and as a former aide to a council member and borough president, I developed my own standards for what qualifies someone to serve on a community board (See my recent ebook, “The Public Ought To Know”)
Council Members (in proportion to their district overlapping with the board) and Borough Presidents appoint Board members. Each year they appoint and re-appoint members to two-year terms.
This time of year these elected officials solicit applications to serve on community boards.
Labor union members should apply to help make sure issues of concern to the movement get their due. This includes union jobs in development projects and adequate public services (delivered by public employees). Contact your local council member or borough president for an application.
Bronx residents can get applications and information here (http://bronxboropres.nyc.gov/communityboards/membership.html).
Manhattan residents can apply on line (http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/cbapply) or can get applications and information here (http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/html/community-boards/community-boards.shtml). Complete by Friday, February 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. or postmark by that date).
Queens residents can get applications and information here (http://www.queensbp.org/community-boards-2/).
Staten Island residents can get applications and information here (http://www.statenislandusa.com/uploads/1/0/9/1/10915079/community_board_application.pdf).