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Community Boards Meetings Must Now be In-Person, Gov. Hochul Lifts COVID-19 Emergency Powers

A Community Board 1 meeting at the Astoria World Manor held pre-pandemic (Photo: Queens Post)

Sept. 19, 2022 By Christian Murray

Community boards throughout New York City will now have to meet in person.

Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the state’s emergency powers related to the COVID-19 pandemic last week and the change means that all city agencies—including community boards—must hold their meetings in person.

The change will mean that all board meetings–including committee meetings– will no longer be able to be held strictly online. However, several boards in Queens plan to incorporate technology as part of the meetings, where the public can participate online through Zoom, or at least view them live through YouTube.

The boards in Queens are currently working with the Queens Borough President’s office in making the transition back to in-person meetings, with the aim of incorporating technology.

“We’ve been in touch with community boards regarding the expiration of the governor’s emergency order and are offering them assistance to help them resume their in-person meetings,” said a spokesperson for Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “We expect the boards will continue the practices developed during the pandemic that promote access and transparency, like livestreaming meetings and allowing remote participation by members of the public.”

Many boards have not met in person since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020.

Community Board 1, which covers Astoria, had initially planned to hold its monthly meeting—scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20—via Zoom.

However, with the lifting of the emergency order, Community Board 1 district manager Florence Koulouris said that the board quickly notified the public that it would be in held person at the Astoria World Manor, located at 25-22 Astoria Blvd.

The meeting will be screened live on YouTube, Koulouris said. She said that Community Board 1 also plans to screen all its in-person committee meetings on YouTube.

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