On June 22 at the Queens Hall of Science, an auditorium of citizens raised their right hands and repeated an oath read to them by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, promising to faithfully execute their duties as community-board members in their respective districts. Some, like Shary Rolnick, a 29-year-old law school graduate who grew up in Forest Hills, were taking the oath for the first time, eager to get involved in their communities. Others were decades into their tenure and received plaques commending the length of their service, like Vincent Arcuri, Jr. , the chairman of Queens Community Board 5, who has served on his board for 40 years, "back before they were called community boards," as Katz remarked from stage. Addressing the crowd, Katz discussed the growth that Queens has experienced over the years, and alluded to its robust immigrant population.
Recent citywide projects like the mayor's affordable-housing plan have reignited long-standing critiques of community boards—about the value of their advisory votes and how effective they are at reflecting the will of the diverse community districts they represent.
Supportive housing works. But some works better than the rest. Providers are using their experiences during the first 26 years of supportive housing construction to refine their model as a new wave looms.
Mayor Bloomberg did a lot to improve how the city's Department of Sanitation operates. Now, Mayor de Blasio is taking on the other half of our sanitation system, the commercial side.