Community Board 1 office on Third Avenue in Melrose. Image: Google Earth.

Bronx Community Board One’s communications and technology committee wants to talk.

At a meeting Wednesday of the board’s newly-formed Communications and Technology Committee, the main topic was better ways to improve connection with district residents and community inclusion in the board’s general work.

The committee discussed creating new access points with the public, including a newsletter, a new website, social media outreach, paper flyers with QR codes and the utilization of Link NYC kiosks, which offer free public Wi-Fi, as message boards.

The committee should prioritize its efforts to inform the public about upcoming board events to NYCHA tenant associations and “long-time residents,” said committee chair Sonyi Lopez.   

CB1 hasn’t always been so open to the public, according to District Manager Anthony Jordan.

The board used to avoid connecting with the press and the wider community, he said. Board members in the past were instructed not to talk to the press in any official capacity, said Jordan, adding that prior leadership worried board members’ words could be misinterpreted.

Hearing about the previous leadership’s reluctance to engage was “jarring,” said Lopez. The goal of the newly-formed committee will be to rectify that approach with extensive and targeted outreach, the committee said.

In other business:

  • Board 1’s general meetings will be livestreamed from now on, as part of a pilot program on the board’s YouTube channel.
  • A motion for a new board website passed with a unanimous vote. The new site will be different from the official city-run site, which is an website.
  • A vote to have interpretation services available at the general meetings going forward was also passed unanimously. That item was to be brought before the full board at Thursday’s General Meeting.
  • Board 1’s social media accounts — Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube — are being reactivated and updated.
  • The committee discussed crafting guidelines for board members on how to best respond to press inquiries, or if the creation of a press team from among board members would be sensible.
  • The committee created a new letterhead. Calendars, flyers and other materials should reflect the change soon.

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