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How Can a Santa Monica Resident Get More Involved in Local Government?

June 13, 2017 8:00 AM
by Vivian Love

How Can a Santa Monica Resident Get More Involved in Local Government?

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in your local community? You should consider being a part of our Boards and Commissions program. Much like voting, citizen participation is key to building a successful community because it contributes diverse viewpoints to the process. 

Boards and commissions offer forums to discuss topics in depth before consideration by the City Council. They are also a means to building consensus on big issues and developing thoughtful recommendations to the City Council. 

What’s the difference between a board and commission? Commissions like Recreation & Parks or Senior Community are established by Santa Monica’s city charter or by a new ordinance, and are responsible for serving in an advisory capacity. Boards such as the Library or Personnel are charged with administrative, regulatory or review authority on a specific subject matter. 

Lastly, there are task forces like Environment and Urban Forest, which are created by city council and usually for a given period of time to take on a specified project. 

For a preview of what the City’s boards/commissions accomplished in 2016, watch this video!

Our office is currently accepting applications for boards and commissions and you can complete an online application at before the filing deadline of noon on Tuesday, June 20th. Appointments are scheduled for the June 27th city council meeting. 

If you are not ready to serve on a board or commission, there are other ways to be involved. Community members are welcomed and encouraged to attend all public meetings of the city council, boards, commissions and task forces. Simply signup to speak to the body during a  public comment period to share your viewpoints.

Together we can continue to improve Santa Monica’s wellbeing! More information on boards and commissions can be found at

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