A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 12, 2005
What the community boards do (and do they really represent the community?)
There are 12 community boards in Manhattan, with about 50 members on each one. The Manhattan Borough President makes about 600 appointments. It's one of the BP's biggest responsibilities.

The community board should represent the community. Fifty Democrats on a community board does not represent any Manhattan community that I know of.

You wouldn't appoint 600 white men. You wouldn't appoint 600 heterosexuals. You wouldn't appoint 50 black women to represent Chinatown.

I will not call for quotas, but the present community board makeup of almost 100% Democrats is not a true community board. I will have community boards that reflect the community, and I'll demand that my Democratic challengers pledge the same fairness.

There also must be a balance between developers and preservationists on all boards.

Anyone who does not pledge a fair community board does not deserve your vote.

The Community Boards play an important role in improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers, but many people don't know about them. We urge you to learn how your Community Board can help you, and how you may be able to help your Community Board. Learn the history of the Community Boards (in pdf).

Learn the history of the Community Boards (in pdf)
Community Board Responsibilities
District Managers and District Offices
Find Your Community Board

Community Boards are local representative bodies. There are 59 throughout the city. Each Board consists of up to 50 unsalaried members appointed by the Borough President, with half nominated by the City Council Members who represent the community district. Board members are selected by the Borough Presidents from among active, involved people of each community, with an effort made to assure that every neighborhood is represented. Board members must reside, work or have some other significant interest in the community..

Boards meet once each month. At these meetings, members address items of concern to the community. Board meetings are open to the public, and a portion of each meeting is reserved for the Board to hear from members of the public. In addition, Boards regularly conduct public hearings-on the City's budget, on land use matters, and other major issues-to give the people of the community the opportunity to express their opinions.

Board committees do most of the planning and work on the issues that are acted on at Board meetings. Each Board establishes the committee structure and procedures it feels will best meet the needs of its district. Non-Board members may apply to join or work on Board committees.

Posted by Barry Popik
Manhattan Borough President (2005 election) • Sunday, June 12, 2005 • Permalink

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