Community Board 2 is one of the first community boards to be established in the early 1960’s. There are 12 Community Boards in Manhattan and 59 across New York City that are charged with representing community interest on crucial issues of development and planning, land use, zoning and City service delivery, such as sanitation and street maintenance, as well as coordination with social services and public education facilities.
Our district’s boundaries are the south side of 14th Street, the north side of Canal Street, the Hudson River and the west side of the Bowery/4th Avenue. We encompass the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, Hudson Square, Chinatown, and the Gansevoort Market. The district is defined by its history of political activism, its unique architectural landscapes, active artistic community, and by the cultural and ethnic diversity of its populations.
Community Boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with City agencies, and make recommendations in the City’s budget process to address them.
Community Boards are local representative bodies. 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 energetic people who demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in serving their community. An effort is made to assure that every neighborhood is represented. It is mandatory for Board members to reside, work, or have some other significant interest in the community. Members are appointed for two year, overlapping terms.
Public Members are voting members of the committee on which they serve, although their votes are tallied separately. Public Members are not participants in the full board proceedings. It is recommended that individuals interested in applying should review the calendar of meetings and attend committee meetings that peak their interest before making a decision.
The potential applicants can download the application from this website. Once the application is complete, it must be submitted to the Board office for processing. The Chair of the Board will notify the applicant by letter if they have been appointed for a one-year term. The Board Chair may remove a public member at any time for substantial non-attendance or other causes. Serving as a public member of a committee is an opportunity that can lead to an appointment as a full board member.
Community Board 2 has eleven standing committees and a number of special committees. The calendar page shows the dates, locations and agendas of monthly meetings. Input is regularly sought and encouraged at committee hearings and the full board’s monthly meetings. On complex issues, the board chair may assign an issue to more than one committee.
Most committees take off the month of August. Each committee reviews all requirements, facts, testimonies and supporting documentation, and summarizes them in a resolution that is then presented for final approval at the monthly full board meeting. The final resolution becomes an official advisory document that is then passed on to the appropriate agency or agencies.
Each standing committee is composed of board members and public members. Anyone requesting to place an issue on any agenda must submit a letter or email to the Board office addressed to the Chair of the appropriate committee with a description of the issue. The Chairs of the committees make the final determination if the issue will be brought before their committee. All committee meetings are open to the public.
Full Board Meetings
The Full Board meets on the second-to-last Thursday of the month. At the meeting, committee resolutions are reviewed and voted on. The meeting commences with the public session, during which members of the public are invited to voice their respective opinions on a proposal or application. Speakers are allowed two minutes to make their statements. During the public session, elected officials or their representatives often update the board members and the public about their activities during the previous month. Although the public is invited to remain during the executive session that follows the public session, they are not allowed to participate. In the executive session, the committee resolutions are introduced by committee chairs, after which they are debated and voted on by the full board.