Opinion: More Democrats should volunteer for CBJ boards

Here is a list of the open seats in CBJ Boards & Commissions right now. This isn’t a great image; the original is here.

Keeping our community operating smoothly requires many people working together. Naturally, a lot of these people are paid employees, but a surprisingly large number of our fellow citizens volunteer their time to help keep things running.

From our hospital to our arboretum, our community resources depend on the volunteers who work on their boards and commissions.

Government and politics are about values*, and therefore it is important for Democrats to put their own time on the line if we want our values to be lived within our communities. 

Or, as the CBJ Boards, Committees & Commissions Informational Pamphlet explains:

These boards provide a way for the public to participate in the City’s decision making process by advising the Mayor and Assembly on numerous issues. In a democratic form of government, it is not only a right but a responsibility for citizens to help shape the community in which we live. This is realized when individuals come together across neighborhood, economic, social, and cultural lines to serve as board members, assisting our local government in making decisions that affect all the citizens within our community. [Emphasis mine – Mary]

If this isn’t the season of your life when you can be a volunteer board member? OK, I get that; that’s where I am right now.

But if you do have a few hours a month to help out, please consider serving in this capacity. You’ll learn a lot about Juneau, you’ll help our democracy, and you’ll make a difference in the lives of your fellow humans.

Here’s how to get started
Those interested in becoming a member of one of the City & Boroughs numerous boards & committees can find their descriptions, upcoming vacancies, application forms and requirements at this handy link.

Committee applications are reviewed by the four Assembly members who comprise the Human Resources Committee.  They generally meet once a month on a Monday, during the hour preceding the regular Assembly meeting on that day.

The next Human Resources Committee meeting is scheduled for November 6th, so get your application in soon, please!

Assembly Standing Committee assignments are shuffled followed each October Assembly election, so members assigned to the upcoming year’s Human Resources Committee will be posted in the agenda for the November 6th meeting.

Those interested in current application deadlines for committee openings, check this list.

If there are no applications received for one of the boards with vacancies, those get postponed to a later meeting.

Assembly Human Resources Committee agendas and minutes can be reviewed at this link. The overall Assembly calendar can be accessed at this link.

Juneau Commission on Aging
Last, I would like to put in a plug for the Juneau Commission on Aging. They have had trouble getting a quorum this year, and in an effort to get a bit more help, they recently changed their composition.

A dear friend of mine told me that she is concerned that the lack of members will result in disbanding this body. While I don’t have any confirmation that this is on the table, how sad would it be for a community to end an advisory board tasked with helping elders just for lack of interest? What would that say about our values?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for considering this service!
– Mary

* But keep in mind that boards and commissions are non-political! – Mary

Research for this post was conducted by a local Democrat who prefers anonymity. I want you to know that I appreciate your help, awesome anonymous Democrat!

The views in this opinion piece are those of the author. They are not official positions of TongassDemocrats.com or the Tongass Democrats.

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