Each year, the City puts out a call for volunteers for community members to step up and sit on various committees and task forces. I currently sit on one—the Public Engagement Task Force—but in the past have sat on a variety of different committees, some monthly for two or three hours, some only met once a quarter, and some were convened a single time in a year. I found the work interesting and felt it gave me a better understanding of how City Hall worked. It also gave me an idea of some of the constraints that the City faces, such as legislative requirements or budget cycles. I joined because I’m a bit of a keener, but also because a friend prompted me to consider getting involved.
“Committee volunteers play a vital role in shaping New Westminster,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “Through their involvement in city committees, members have the opportunity to get to the heart of issues that impact our community and can see their efforts playing out everywhere they look. I encourage everyone interested to apply for a committee and get involved in shaping the future of our city.”
So, if our Mayor’s call for volunteers isn’t enough, here is me also prompting you. If you’ve been considering contributing to the place you live in a bigger way, as a way to give you meaningful connections to your community, this is one great way.
To apply for a committee, check out the list of volunteer opportunities and see which best fits you. Fill out the online application. You cannot be employed by the City of New Westminster, and you must be a resident. Some of the terms are one year and some are two and they ask that you be able to serve the full term. In general, most committees do not meet in July, August, or December. These are volunteer positions, so you don’t get paid, but you do get invited to a fancy pants dinner at the end of the year as thanks.
I have found that the connection I have to the City has become deeper and richer as a result of being involved in the committees I have sat on, and it has exposed me to a number of groups or programs I didn’t know about.