There’s considerable debate within the Libertarian Party of California about what should be our focus. Should we grow the membership roster? Should we get out to local events with our information booth and boost awareness of our message and brand? Should we focus on electing candidates to state offices? All of the above? NOTA? And so on.

Whilst the argument rages on, there are things that the everyday libertarian can do, today, to advance the cause of liberty. The everyday libertarian, YOU, can join and work on a local board or commission.

Boards and commissions are advisory / regulatory groups that work within cities and counties. Advisory groups provide guidance / direction to the program or agency with which they are affiliated. Regulatory groups set licensing standards and professional requirements for members. Examples of local boards / commissions include Planning, Zoning, Libraries, Health, Compensation, and Water.

Shortly after I moved to my rural community of Neenach, my local water agency had a vacancy to its Board of Directors caused by a resignation. I found out about the vacancy through a neighbor and turned in a letter of interest. A month later, I was appointed to serve out the vacant term. I’m now in my second term of office, having risen to the position of President of the Board of Directors.

Serving on a board or commission can be a significant and meaningful way to participate in civic life. As a member, you can share your expertise and your libertarian point of view whilst directly participating in shaping your local community. If you are interested in attaining a “higher office,” these local boards / commissions can help you hone your political skills and make the connections that will help you, your community, and your political future.

Local residents are preferred appointees for these positions because boards / commissions are a wonderful way to encourage citizens to be involved in their own governance. Specific subject matter expertise is generally not a requirement to apply for most boards / commissions. Thus you should not hesitate to apply, even if your skill set may not be right on target. Your greatest skillset, after all, is your rational libertarian mind.

The easiest way to find out about openings is by contacting your county’s Registrar. Agencies are generally required to inform the Registrar of vacant positions. You may also want to contact your city’s Administrator, your city’s Clerk, or your county’s Auditor to learn about potential openings and specifics about the appointment process.

Remember, the State’s Senate and Assembly are where the laws and regulations are crafted before being sent to the Governor for signature. It’s the state’s many boards and commissions that are actually involved in implementing and enforcing these laws, rules, and regulations. Who would you rather have on these boards? Republicans? Democrats? I’d rather have rational Libertarians serving on these boards and commissions. What say you?