Community Boards encourage residents to voice their opinion and therefore influence City government, so public participation in Board activities is essential.

Efficient outreach and ongoing engagement are big challenges for the Boards we spoke with. Boards need to reach as many people as possible, and promote engagement and membership.

Engagement methods depend on Community Boards’ own creativity, initiative, and neighborhood character. While effective outreach is significant in promoting Community Boards’ activity, there is no “recipe book” for best methods. Lacking specific guidance on how to do so, Community Boards rely on their own initiative. We’ve learned that neighborhood character plays an important role too. For example, tight communities, where the Community Board is also conceived as a community center, differ from non-residential neighborhoods.