If you're interested in getting involved in your community and shaping local governance, you might be wondering how commission, board, or committee members are selected. These groups play a crucial role in shaping policies and decisions that affect our daily lives, so it's essential to understand the selection process.

The Appointment Process

Many commission, board, or committee members are appointed by the mayor, council, or governor, depending on the level of government. Appointments may be based on various factors, including relevant experience or expertise, geographic representation, and diversity. For example, a city's housing commission might have members with affordable housing or real estate expertise. In contrast, a parks and recreation commission could have members with backgrounds in environmental science or outdoor recreation.

Specific criteria or considerations may also be considered during the appointment process, such as reserving a specific number of seats for particular groups or requiring qualifications for certain positions. For instance, some commissions may mandate that members have a certain level of education or professional experience in one specific field.

It's important to note that the appointment process can vary depending on the commission and the city or state in which it operates. Some cities may have a specific application process or interview for potential commission members.

The Election Process

Some commissions, like school boards or water districts, are elected by the public. The election process may involve campaigning and voting, similar to other elected positions. Commission elections can occur at the local or state level, depending on the commission.

It's worth noting that the election process for commissions may differ from other elected positions. For example, some commissions might have non-partisan elections, meaning that political parties are not involved in the selection process.


Understanding how commission, board, or committee members are selected is crucial for anyone interested in getting involved in local governance. Whether through appointment or election, commission membership offers an opportunity to positively impact your community and help shape policies and decisions that affect your daily life.

If you're interested in becoming a commission member, we recommend researching your community's commission appointment or election process. Explore your city's website or attend city council meetings to learn more about commission opportunities and the selection process. Don't hesitate to reach out to elected officials or current commission members for additional information.

By understanding the selection process for commission membership, you can better position yourself to contribute your unique perspectives and experiences to your community and help create positive change.

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