Each week the AIT community receives #TakeActionTuesday with tips for creating impactful change in their community and beyond. From new online tools, to pending policy updates, subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss these action-oriented recommendations.
Appointed positions on local civic boards and commissions are typically filled by community volunteers who apply and are then selected by a local government official or group of officials. These positions allow community members to weigh in on important decisions and shape initiatives that directly impact what happens in their own backyard. Importantly, appointed positions are also a training ground for individuals to gain valuable local leadership experience, and often serve as a pipeline for those interested in someday running for elected office.
Despite a recent study indicating that gender diversity on civic boards and commissions increases effectiveness and improves public trust, women remain greatly underrepresented, contributing to the broader gender gap that exists in all levels of elected office.
This #TakeActionTuesday, find out which appointed positions exist near you and how you (and a friend!) can take your seat at the table.
- Do Your Research. Visit your municipal or county government’s website and find out which civic boards and commissions exist, where/when there are appointed position vacancies, and how the selection process works. If this information is not readily available online, call your local government office and ask how you can learn more. Then, consider which board or commission best aligns with your interests and experience, while remembering that you don’t need to be a subject-area expert to be qualified to represent your community.
- Make Connections. Find out who currently serves on the board or commission that you are interested in, and connect with them to find out more about the time commitment and responsibilities of the position. Attend a public meeting to learn more about how these volunteer bodies operate and to express your interest in joining.
- Learn From Experts. For resources and information on how to get started, check out the Appointments Project website. If you happen to be part of our Cincinnati community, check out the Appointed initiative, led by AIT community partner organization the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Consider how you can use and share these resources in your own community.
Have you considered applying to join a local civic board or commission? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!