Manhattan Residents Vie for Community Board Seats

| 17 Feb 2015 | 05:07

Borough President Gale Brewer has received almost 600 applications to fill spots on Manhattan's 12 community boards

By Gabrielle Alfiero

Interviews of prospective community board members began last week, after nearly 600 applications were submitted to Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer's office for the 2014-2016 term. Of the 596 candidates who applied to serve on one of Manhattan's 12 community boards, more than half are new applicants-with nearly a quarter applying to Community Board 7, which includes the Upper West Side.

In order to serve on any of the 50-member boards, applicants must live, own a business, work or have another interest in the district, such a child enrolled in school in the area. Across all districts, more than half of new applicants live in their areas, while more than a quarter both live and work in their districts. 30 percent of new applicants own a condo or co-op, while 28 percent rent a market-rate apartment, and just 4 percent live in public housing. When it comes to issues, affordable housing is top-of-mind: nearly 140 new applicants listed it as a key issue, with transportation and education rounding out the top three areas of greatest concern.

While a quarter of new applicants have lived in the city for 10 years or less, just as many have called Manhattan home for at least 41 years. And new applicants are an educated bunch, with nearly 90 percent holding a Bachelor's degree or higher, and more than half holding a graduate degree.