Address “The New York City Council Members” as a whole or write to an individual council member.
Explain why you are writing; start with a direct statement about your reason for communicating.
Explain why you care about the issue; share a personal story and show your connection to the topic at hand.
Reference facts, figures, and articles to build your case.
Explain what kind of support or action you are seeking from the council members.
Be professional. Remember that all correspondence to City Council is considered public record.
Include your name, address, and phone number in your signature.
Write to your Local Newspaper Editor
WHEN: To call attention to an issue, request action, or show your support
WHAT TO DO:
Maximum: 300 words
Include your name, full address, and daytime phone (only name and city are published).
No anonymous or open letters; no name-calling or ad hominem attacks. Attachments discouraged.
Be timely! Consider referencing other (recent) articles published in the paper to show relevancy.
Place the most important information first. What do you hope to communicate with your letter?
Include personal stories and examples to demonstrate your point.
Read the DC Letters to the Editor or the BW Letters for examples and current topics.
Attend and Speak at a City Council Meeting
WHEN: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 6:00pm
WHAT TO DO:
Look up the next council meeting; Agendas are posted on the City Website at 3:30pm on the Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting
Sign up to speak during Open Comment or Public Hearing (see descriptions below).
Each speaker is given 3 minutes (2 minutes if there are more than 15 speakers). Practice for both!
Approach the stand when called and state your name, address, and relevant affiliations.
Clearly state your position.
Include personal stories and examples that demonstrate how you, your business, and your community are affected
Watch the lights: green = you may speak flashing green = halfway through yellow = 30 seconds remaining red = time’s up!
Public Hearings address a particular ordinance or policy decision and are identified on the agenda. Sign up in person with the city clerk (2nd floor) at 5:00pm on the day of the meeting.
Open Comment: For items not scheduled for public hearing, speakers may sign up for Open Comment, held at the beginning of a meeting. Sign up online before 4:30pm the day of the meeting, or in person starting at 5:00pm.
You may sign up, leave, and come back. If you know your item will come up later in the schedule, go grab a bite downtown and return closer to your time.
Want to see a council meeting in action? Tune in to Local TV Channel or visit the City Council Video Player and Archive.
Know that it’s worth it! City Council meetings can be time consuming, but you deserve to have your voice heard on issues that matter to you.
Use Social Media
Use established hashtags (or create your own) to build a hub for comments and conversation. Hashtags aggregate all posts that contain that tag, so you can rally support and monitor overall sentiment about an issue.
Twitter users to follow and tag: NYC Council: @NYCCouncil