Governance Architecture

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This is a "work page," not a typical information or resource page. It is intended to guide planners, managers, and operators of JacksonHeights.nyc establish structure for this wiki and for other elements of the JacksonHeights.nyc Initiative. That being said, thoughts about this page from general users are most welcomed.

The JacksonHeights.nyc domain was licensed by the city of New York to Connecting.nyc Inc., a Jackson Heights based nonprofit, in November 2016. Connecting.nyc committed to assist with JacksonHeights.nyc's development and operation and to transfer control of the Initiative to an independent, locally controlled, nonprofit, JacksonHeights.nyc Inc., by the end of the initial 3 year operating license. This page focuses on that transition.

Governance Plan From the Original License Application[edit]

Our initial plan for a governance architecture was presented as the answer to question #10 on our original license application as follows:

Question #10. ORGANIZATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTNER WITH OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD ENTITIES IN ORDER TO LAUNCH AND MAINTAIN THEIR SITES. IN FACT, NEIGHBORHOOD SITES SHOULD BE INCLUSIVE OF ALL INTERESTED PARTIES. ONE ORGANIZATION WILL FUNCTION AS THE LEAD AND ULTIMATELY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SITE'S SUCCESS. WILL YOUR ORGANIZATION BE THE LEAD OR A SECONDARY/ SUPPORTING PARTNER? Please list any partners that you plan to work with on this initiative and describe the expected role of each:

Answer #10. Connecting.nyc Inc. will serve as the lead during the acquisition phase of JacksonHeights.nyc’s establishment. And, in consultation with neighborhood residents and organizations, it will coordinate the selection and development of the systems and technology that will enable its initiation phase.

While the licensing and initial technology tasks are fundamental, success requires that we develop the capacity to identify issues and opportunities that will impact the neighborhood; and that we elicit the cooperation and collaboration of residents and organizations to present and address them.

To do so we need to convince residents to contribute stories about their lives, concerns, needs, and aspirations. Ideas spread best when neighbors trust and share with one another. If we’re to be more than a reiteration of existing digital resources, we need to engage residents to invest their energy and resources today and in the years ahead. We view this as a key task.

Governance Today and Tomorrow[edit]

The applicant, Connecting.nyc Inc., is a NYS non-profit holding IRS 501(c)(3) status. Our 5 member board of directors was assembled in the mid-2000’s to help foster the acquisition of the .nyc TLD. All live or work in the city. Three resided in the Jackson Heights neighborhood most of their lives.

Connecting.nyc Inc. has made long term commitments to represent the interests of the city’s individual internet users before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and to spread the word about city TLDs through its special consultative status at the United Nations (we’re an NGO). We intend to meet our commitments and continue these roles in the coming years.

However, over the next few years the preponderance of our energy will focus on developing the JacksonHeights.nyc domain. Thereafter, having fostered a sustainable operating model, we will establish an independent entity to oversee JacksonHeights.nyc’s operation, serving in a secondary or support role, as needed. In the interim, a Council for the Neighborhood Commons will be created to provide for neighborhood engagement and operating guidance. Connecting.nyc Inc. will participate on that Council, contribute its resources, and remain engaged to assure compliance with the licensing agreement.

Council for the Neighborhood Commons[edit]

Residents, civic, education, and business organizations will be encouraged to help establish policy via participation on a Council for the Neighborhood Commons (CNC). The Council will have periodic face-to-face meetings (minimally on a quarterly basis) to review policies and programs that affect the operation of JacksonHeights.nyc, and to suggest ways it might better serve the neighborhood.

The CNC will have an online presence as well - calendar, discussion, wiki - the content of which shall be available to residents.

The voting membership of the CNC will consist of the following:

  • One member representing civic organizations, chosen by the North Queens Homeowners Association, the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, Jackson Heights Green Alliance, Jackson Heights Residents Association.
  • A member representative of the neighborhood’s large immigrant population, with the member selected by NICE (New Immigrant Community Empowerment), DRUM, the Bangladeshi Historic Memory Project, and others.
  • Resident-owners of neighborhood oriented businesses will appoint one representative to participate on the CNC.
  • Entities representing the business community, such as the 74th Street Merchants Association and the 82nd Street BID will be invited to select a member to serve on the CAC.
  • In the cultural realm the Jackson Heights Arts Club, the Jackson Heights Orchestra, Queens World Film Festival, and the Choral Society will be invited to send a member to the council.
  • From the education world we will invite the Jackson Heights Parents for Public Schools and neighborhood PTAs to join the council.
  • With the majority of residents renters, and home ownership high by NYC standards, both should be represented on the CNC.
  • In Jackson Heights we are rich with religious groups, from the entities representing the historic Jewish, Methodist, and Roman Catholic residents to the more recent Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic arrivals. Our spiritual providers will be invited to send a member.
  • Activist organizations with a strong presence in JH, such as Queens Bike and the LGBT community will be invited to participate.
  • A representative of residents appointed by the Community Board.
  • Connecting.nyc Inc.will assign one member to the CNC.

All CNC members must live in the neighborhood. As will be seen in our answer to Question 11, Jackson Heights is quite diverse and we will work diligently to assure that diversity is represented on our Council.

Expanded Council for the Neighborhood Commons[edit]

Residents, civic, education, and business organizations will be encouraged to help establish policy via participation on a Council for the Neighborhood Commons (CNC). The Council will have quarterly face-to-face meetings to review policies and programs that affect the operation of JacksonHeights.nyc, and to review and suggest ways it might better serve the neighborhood.

Original Members[edit]

The voting membership, as stated in the original license application included the following:

  1. One member representing civic organizations
  2. A member representing the large immigrant populations
  3. One representing resident-owners of neighborhood businesses
  4. One representing business organizations
  5. A member from the cultural realm
  6. The education world
  7. Renters and home ownership representation
  8. Religious groups
  9. Activist organizations
  10. A resident appointed by the Community Board
  11. One from Connecting.nyc Inc.

Expanded Members[edit]

Up to 5 ex-officio members from the Jackson Heights delegation to Community Board #3.

Membership Requirements[edit]

All CNC members must live in the neighborhood.

Questions[edit]

  • May non-resident property owners post / fully participate?

Next Steps[edit]

  • Publish Report on Governance Meeting Number 1, of November 10, 2018, on establishing a JacksonHeights.nyc governance structure
  • (Send) notifications of ex-officio seat reservations to the Jackson Heights delegation to Queens Community Board #3
  • Form organizing committee
  • Get pro bono legal help
  • Decide on board form (voting memberships?)
  • Create a NYS not for profit
  • Get IRS 501(c)(3) designation
  • January 1, 2020 complete transfer

The Report[edit]

Related "Work" Pages[edit]

External Links[edit]