January 13, 2016
By Corey Bearak, The Public Ought To Know
Queens, NY – It's that time again in New York City. Borough Presidents and Council Members invite applications to join Community Boards. Organized labor recognizes the importance of encouraging members to apply. The New York City Central Labor Council supports its locals in encouraging members to participate in their community boards; it provides training for interested members. Why?
Established and empowered by the City Charter, Community Boards provide an advisory role and input on land use and budget matters. Many elected officials follow the land use recommendations of community boards. On significant local development, community boards can help shape the project. As I wrote in a past Labor Press commentary, “Of particular significance to labor, this includes whether union labor builds a project and union workers get employed by the business that operate once a projects gets completed.” Community Boards also make recommendations on capital projects and programs in their neighborhoods. To learn more about community boards citywide, go to NYC.gov.
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.
*Corey Bearak can be reached at StrategicPublicPolicy.com. Find his ebook, The Public Ought To Know, at Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks.