Why Bother Coming to a Meeting?
1. Represent Yourself, Your Neighbors, Your Ideas
Community boards tend to skew older: Members are selected by city council members, so they’re usually well-entrenched in their neighborhoods, and new positions open up only on an annual basis, and often in small numbers, as there are no term limits.
It's fair that longtime residents who are deeply invested in their communities should be at the front of the line for CB appointments, as they likely have a strong grasp of their neighbors' concerns.
On the other hand, residents newer to an area who want their own needs reflected on agendas have an opportunity to make that happen by attending meetings. So why not bring some much-needed young blood to your local meeting? If you love your neighborhood and plan to stick around, it’s worth the investment of your time.
2. Meet City Staff and Representatives Face-to-Face
Perhaps even more effective than weighing in on a board vote is giving your City Council rep a piece of your mind directly. Council members, as well as other officials from local organizations, frequently attend meetings to address the board. And they want to hear about residents’ concerns—they have to run for re-election, after all.
Plus, someone who recently got involved points out, “Most of these organizations, even the council members, have pretty poor outreach because of budgets and expertise. So you have to go looking for it.”
3. Get a Better Handle on Local Politics
While it is tough to advance to the role of official member, appointment to a neighborhood association is an entry point to politics: Community board members sometimes do advance to positions on the city council and beyond (see: Terry Hutchison). And attending meetings will provide a deeper insight into the workings of local government, including how proposals move down the pipeline and various departments interact with one another
4. Have a Real Impact on Improvements in Your Neighborhood
Attending meetings is valuable, not only for voicing your own opinion, but for connecting with others in your community, as well. For locals who are curious or concerned about the future of their area, sitting in on a meeting will give them an inkling of what’s to come before anyone else finds out. (Source)