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How To NYC
News: How To NYC
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How to Report Child Abuse

Reporting abuse and neglected is a legal responsibility for some and a weighty task for anyone. Here's how the system works.

How To Apply for Public Benefits

Our How To NYC series continues with a look at help available for everything from food to heat to medical care.

How to Join Your Community Emergency Response Team

One way that you can help in disasters and other civic emergencies is by joining your local Community Emergency Response Team.

How to Dispose of Harmful Materials

Disposing of household products is not always as easy as putting them in your trashcan or recycling bin.

How to Join Your Local Community Board

To be on a community board you must be a New York City resident and live, work or have significant interest in the district of the board you wish to join.

How to Use the Freedom of Information Law

City and state agencies are increasingly placing information that once required a FOIL request on their website. Before you initiative a formal FOIL request, you should prowl the agency's site to see what is there for the taking.

How to Get a Zoning Variance

City zoning laws regulate what can and cannot be built on certain parcels of land. If zoning laws restrict your plans, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of your project. You can apply for a zoning variance.

How to File a Complaint Against the Police

You do not need to know the officer’s name or badge number to make a complaint. Investigators can usually use basic information about the time and location to identify the officer.

How to Run for City Council

The official due dates for the next election have not yet been set, but petitions are typically due sometime in mid-July.

New York City is the greatest place in the world. But it's not the simplest. Being an engaged citizen and taking advantage of all the benefits the city has to offer requires a little know-how. In this ongoing series, we'll tell you everything you ever wanted to know—but were afraid to ask—about navigating New York City. If there are topics you'd like us to cover, email us at

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