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How to join one of Austin’s 60+ city boards and commissions

Weigh in on Austin city government decision-making as a member of one of ATX’s 60+ boards and commissions.

The Austin skyline, as seen from the shore of Lady Bird Lake

Help care for Austin on one of the city’s boards and commissions.

Photo by ATXtoday

What’s cooler than being cool? Being an engaged citizen.

If you have input about the goings-on in Austin and want to make your voice heard, we’re here to help. Austin residents can serve as a volunteer member on one of the city’s 60+ boards and commissions, getting the opportunity to weigh in on the most pressing topics affecting our city.

As part of these groups, you can participate in decision-making related to the arts, bond oversight, college students, aging, immigrant affairs, and sustainability. If this sounds appealing to you, keep reading.

How to apply

To be considered for a board or commission, fill out an application online in your language of choice. The selection process takes into account:

  • Current board or commission vacancies
  • Residency and district information
  • Employment
  • Interests and qualifications
  • Demographics

Some boards and commissions require specific qualifications — such as experience in a field or technical expertise — so make sure you check the additional requirements for the board you’re interested in. Applications are held for one year.

What happens if you get the job?

If you’re selected to join a board or commission, you’ll need to submit the Oath of Office and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities. After that, you have 90 days to complete training requirements, which vary depending on the subject you’re focusing on.

Now, it’s time for the fun part. As a member, you are expected to read and study materials in advance of your meetings, be engaged in public testimony, and make recommendations based on your research. You may also be expected to contribute to City Council discussions related to the board or commission you’re serving on.

Currently, the Austin/Travis County Public Health Commission and Arts Commission have vacancies — keep an eye on the vacancies list online for updates.