For the past five years, he has been on the board of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association.
This year, he’s taken his involvement in the 89-year civic group to another level by serving as its president.
“It’s a small way to give back to the community,” Elkind said. “People think that you can’t influence what happens outside your front door, but you can.
“It takes a lot of effort,” he added. “It’s all volunteers.”
The organization is involved in “all levels” of property owner issues in the greater Ridgewood area, including taxation, landlord-tenant issues and even planting new trees.
RPOCA members attend community board meetings, cultivate relationships with local elected officials and help residents navigate the complex city apparatus.
“We’re sort of the eyes and ears of people who own homes and businesses,” Elkind said.
One particular issue Elkind has paid close attention to is the pressures of new development in Ridgewood.
He noted that under the right economic circumstances, which New York City has experienced in the past few years, a “real estate economic tsunami” can affect a neighborhood, including “riding roughshod” over long-established homeowners and intergenerational tenants.
“Greater density usually ends up with greater dislocation of long-established tenants,” he said. “Unfortunately, the housing policies are not designed to generate more affordable units.”
Elkind said part of his job as president is to also bring the organization into the 21st century in terms of technology. The group has a new Facebook page and a new website on the way.
RPOCA meets the first Thursday of every month, except for July and August, at 7 p.m. at the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church Senior Center, located at 59-14 70th Avenue.