Apply Now: Oakland Needs Board and Commission Members

Lessons Learned at our Boards & Commissions Information Night

Info Night Participants: Kim Hess, Lynette Ward*, Akiba Bradford*, Pastor Joseph Simmons, Ecaterina Burton*, Almaz Yhidego*, Melvin Cowan, Nazanin Afshar-Szanto, LaNiece Jones, Desmond Jefferies, Sean Dugar and Candice Elder, *indicates event panelist, (Photo courtesy of The East Oakland Collective).

Nearly 100 attendees came to City Hall Thursday night, February 2nd, to learn about serving on City Boards and Commissions. The City partnered with The East Oakland Collective who has been offering a series of workshops to draw greater participation from East Oakland.

“We are promoting age, race and district diversity on City of Oakland boards and commissions. We are excited to see so many different people interested in learning more about the experience, application process and how to make a difference in their communities,” Candice Elder, Executive Director, The East Oakland Collective.

Missed the event, but still want to apply for a Board or Commission? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Boards and commissions play a vital role in public decision making. Members of Boards and Commissions offer advice to City government officials, inform budgets and serve as the voice of their communities. “Policies are best implemented when there is outreach and participation with community and they are given the opportunity to be decision makers,” panelist Almaz Yhidego, former Citizens Police Review Board commissioner.
  • Experts are great, but you don’t need to be one. While special knowledge on things like the City budget are useful, the City needs a broad swath of community members to serve. “We want the Boards to reflect the community that we’re serving,” Terrell Hegler, East Oakland native and staff member to Mayor Libby Schaaf.
  • Just apply now. When in doubt, just apply. “Serving on a board or commission is just one of many avenues to have a seat at the table to impact change,” Elder, concluded.

Council member Desley Brooks emphasized the importance of broader participation when speaking to the crowd, “I think its important to get involved in a Board or Commission because the government is about your voice and about the people.”

You can apply online. Have questions about the application process? Contact Terrell Hegler, Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf at (510) 238–7914 or thegler@oaklandnet.com.