OFFICE of Community Relations
The Office of Community Relations’ (OCR) primary function is to ensure that the general public has access to the services of the New York City Comptroller’s Office. In an effort to achieve our goals, we focus our resources in three key areas:
1) Community Relationships
Creating relationships throughout the City with community organizations, residents, business owners and other community stakeholders is a key task of OCR. Through these avenues our staff’s efforts to reach the many constituent groups the Comptroller’s Office services is multiplied. We sponsor and participate in many activities to assist us in cultivating current and developing new relationships. They are as follows:
The Comptroller visits organizations servicing a given community followed by a meeting with civic and community leaders in that same area where they are invited to discuss directly with the Comptroller issues specific to their needs.
Community Leader Meetings
Similar to the Borough Visits, we bring together leaders of various constituent groups to discuss directly with the Comptroller issues of importance and/or matters of concern that impact their communities.
Financial Education and Foreclosure Prevention Forums
OCR, along with the Comptroller’s Community Action Center and Division of Commercial Banking sponsors forums across the City that provide information on various banking and financial services. These forums help to ensure that all New York City residents have access to sufficient banking services, an understanding of savings and credit, the tools needed to navigate the financial process of becoming a homeowner and the knowledge necessary to prevent foreclosure.
The Comptroller’s Office hosts Clergy Conferences aimed at providing New York City’s faith-based community with important information on Financial Education and Economic/Community Development.
In addition to the events above, the Comptroller’s office also recognizes the dedication and service of others through the following activities;
Annual Schools Awards /Senior Citizenship Awards
Each year the Comptroller recognizes exemplary students and senior citizens for their academic and civic achievements respectively. Two students in each graduating class in schools across our City are awarded the New York City Comptroller Achievement Award. Similarly, in honor of National Senior Month two senior citizens from senior centers across our city are awarded the New York City Comptroller’s Special Recognition Award for volunteerism and exemplary citizenship.
Annual Clothing and Toy Drive
We proudly sponsor a clothing and toy drive where we collect donations from many different sources most of which are donated by our own staff and distribute the donations to needy children and families throughout the City.
2) Community Outreach
OCR provides access to the abundance of information and services available at theComptroller’s Office to all constituent groups across the city. This is accomplished primarily by participating in Community Board meetings and activities in all five boroughs. There are 59 Community Boards that hold monthly meetings. Each month, representatives attend these meetings to keep communities updated on important information and to ensure that there is a clear understanding of how to access and utilize the services available at the Comptroller’s Office. By participating in these meetings our staff can bring back important and helpful information on the community’s needs and interests; that information is communicated to the appropriate units for follow-up purposes.
In addition to Community Boards we participate in many local community events, including hosting Information Tables at community-sponsored activities. These tables allow us to interact with various constituent groups and make available up to date reports and information issued by our Office.
Our goal is to continue creating opportunities that will help New York City residents to access, understand and utilize the function and services available in the Comptroller’s Office.