Let me be upfront, if you care about environmental issues and want to get involved at the grassrootsÂ level, now is the time, and Community Boards are the place. APPLY NOW (Manhattan Community Board Application)
Community Boards are often overlooked as a place to have a real impact on environmental policy. Many environmental activists focus on state or city level legislative or adminstrative bodies, businesses or important leaders and get a lot of good done on a variety of issues. However many times all this work falls short of connecting some of the larger environmental issues like Global Warming or Resource Depletion toÂ the neighborhood or community level. As a result, local community boards or low level government bodies don’t necessarily make the connection between parking rules orÂ zoning/building regulations to environmental issues like reducing automobile dependency or increasing the energy efficiency of major local development projects.
Here in New York, community boards serve a vital function of representing their neighborhood to city officials, developers, local businesses as well as providing a forum to discuss a wide range of public policy topics. Community Boards can pass resolutions (non binding) that have a strong influence on elected officials in an area and can also influence how money is spent by government agencies in that area. They are the true grassroots of New York politics. And they need a continuous supply of fresh members to keep them connected to the changing neighborhoods they represent.
Here in Manhattan, Borough President Scott Stringer is making a strong push toward reforming Community Boards to be more representative of their local communities and act on important issues of the day, like a rational transportation policy that prioritizes pedestrians and bicycle safety over automobile usage.
Next Week, Borough President Stringer is organizing an information session to encourage more people in Manhattan to apply for Community Board membership. Please bring a resume and you can apply on the spot. Here are the details of the information session:
Monday January 22nd, 6-8pm
Berkeley College, 12 E. 41st Street (between 5th and Madison),
It’s co-sponsored byBorough President Scott Stringer,
Transportation Alternatives, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, NYPIRG’s
Straphangers Campaign, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Citizens for
And features presentations by:
*Â Borough President’s Office – What Is a Community Board and
How Can You Get on One?
*Â Transportation Alternatives, Paul Steely White, Executive Director -
Local Advocacy for Healthier, Greener, More Efficient Streets
*Â WE ACT, Peggy M. Shepard, Executive Director (invited)