Map of Brooklyn's community districts.

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Brooklyn’s 18 community boards have opened their application process for new members. The hyperlocal boards typically have up to 50 non-salaried members who make decisions around land-use and zoning, liquor licensing, … and generally help residents navigate any issues occurring in their area. Members, who must live, work or have a special interest in the district, are selected by the borough president and local council member. During the pandemic, in which meetings were forced online, community boards saw a large uptick in interest and attendance as residents were increasingly able and interested in getting involved with local civics. Noel Hidalgo, executive director of BetaNYC, which supported a number of city community boards in their transition online, told Brooklyn Paper some community board meetings that would normally have 100 people in a room went to have a couple of hundred people consistently coming to full board meetings. “There were a few contentious community board meetings where there were over 1,000 people in attendance.” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams urged all Brooklynites eligible to apply for their community board to do so, “and get involved to help our borough recover from the devastation of COVID-19.” This now includes younger residents too, with Brooklyn’s board standards now allowing for members as young as 16.
Each community board employs a district manager who has an office and staff, and implements procedures to improve the delivery of City services to the district. The main responsibility of the board office is to receive complaints from residents, but it also maintain other duties, such as processing permits for block parties and street fairs. Many boards choose to provide additional services and manage special projects that cater to specific community needs, including organizing tenants associations, coordinating neighborhood cleanup programs, and more. Applications for board membership are open until February 12, you can click here to apply. To see Brooklyn’s current community board makeups, click here.

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