Bonus: Diversifying the Public Sector

Aeon board meeting. Photo courtesy of AEON

This is a sidebar to “On Board,” an article about making a community development organization’s board welcoming to residents and low-income members.

CDC boards can be a first stop for preparing resident leaders for roles on public authorities or boards, or elected office. “A lot of low-income residents of our neighborhood don’t think about having a leadership role,” says Paul Mazzarella of the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services. “We recruit people we think can be leaders and help them become leaders. … We’ve had people go on to run for seats on school board, board of public works, Common Council.”

Somerville Community Corporation is working with other organizations that have leadership training programs to create together a joint “leadership 2.0” program focusing on putting people on public boards and commissions, with an emphasis on immigrants.

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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