Applications Now Open to Represent Lower Manhattan on CB1
The office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine is now accepting applications from prospective members of Community Board 1 (CB1), which represents Lower Manhattan, encompassing six neighborhoods: Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Financial District, Greenwich South, the South Street Seaport, and the Civic Center. There are 50 members of CB1, each serving a two-year term. It’s a volunteer post, and any person 16 or older can apply.
Community Boards are the most basic level of government in New York City, and sometimes serve as entry-level springboards for subsequent careers in politics. (Multiple current and former members of the City Council originally served on CB1.) In recent years, CB1 has addressed issues such as affordable housing, noise, historic preservation, outdoor dining, and the proliferation of illegal cannabis shops.
“All government change starts locally,” observes Tammy Meltzer, who has chaired CB1 since 2020. “Under the New York City Charter, community boards act as the official, advisory voices of the neighborhoods they represent. We opine on a broad range of important topics, such as land use, zoning, and local issues for schools, parks, resiliency plans, the disposition of publicly owned property, and landmarks, as well as licensing and permits. Government in New York doesn’t get any more grassroots than this. If you want to be involved, or make recommendations for the City’s budget process, or help with quality of life—to name just a few of the policy areas we work on—then serving on CB1 is the way you can help to make things better.”
CB1 is comprised of more than a dozen specialized, subject-matter committees, such as Battery Park City, Environmental Protection, Licensing & Permits, Waterfront, Parks & Cultural, and Youth & Education. These panels formulate and vote on resolutions within their areas of expertise, which are then debated by the entirety of CB1 at its monthly meetings. Elected officials and government agencies are required to consider resolutions enacted by local community boards as they set policies and allocate resources.
Community board members must be New York City residents, and are required to live or work in, or otherwise demonstrate a significant connection to, the neighborhoods served by the panel. Applicants are asked to submit a biographical statement or resume, and complete an online application explaining why they want to join the board and what skills they offer. These applications are evaluated by an independent screening panel, after which finalists are interviewed by the Borough President’s staff.
Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, February 23. For more information, or to apply to become a CB1 member, click here.