Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI)

About BCLI

Through this institute, Long Beach social-justice leaders learn about the role of local boards and commissions and how they can effectively advocate to and serve on these bodies. Participants will engage in opportunities for learning, networking, placement preparation, and technical support and mentoring. 

Why Serve on a City of Long Beach Board or Commission?

The City of Long Beach has more than 35 citywide boards and commissions with approximately 400 appointed community members who oversee key Long Beach agencies and advise the mayor, city council, and city management on core policies and programs that impact the quality of life for local residents. 

Input given and decisions taken by these boards and commissions have a major impact on policies and projects throughout Long Beach, but representation on these boards and commissions with diverse community leadership is often challenging. Elected officials report that they lack qualified pools of candidates with the time, technical expertise, and interest in serving on commissions. Low-income, BIPOC, and historically marginalized communities throughout Long Bach often feel that their government does not represent them, that the work of government is not transparent, and that they do not have direct access to the government representatives that make decisions that directly affect their communities. 

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What Do We Aim to Accomplish with BCLI?

The Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute brings together Long Beach community leaders to accomplish several goals:

1.) Train and support Long Beach social justice leaders and organizations in building strategies to influence and serve on public decision making on local boards and commissions, thus building power with Long Beach residents historically left out of decision-making.  

2.) Identify strong, vetted community candidates for appointment to local boards and commissions and support them through the application process.

3.) Provide prospective appointees with technical and advocacy skills, knowledge, and relationships through additional training, mentoring and networking.

4.) Support commissioner-advocates to ensure that they remain connected and responsive to their communities and that their decision making reflects community knowledge and interests.

Appointees will not only be prepared to meet their day-to-day responsibilities as commissioners, they will also bring fresh thinking and innovative solutions to agency deliberations and decision making and help renew confidence in government. Community organizations will have a more nuanced understanding of the current influence and the possibilities of influence of the boards and commissions of the City of Long Beach, and will be able to strategize to move equitable public planning decision making forward. 

What Can I Expect As a Participant in the Program?

The Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute is a cohort-driven, hands-on program.  Participants will engage in opportunities for learning, networking, placement preparation, and technical support and mentoring. Those facilitating sessions and sharing knowledge and experiences will be veteran organizers and advocate commissioners from the City of Long Beach and other California cities. 

Space is limited. Cohort composition is determined by a selection committee who review and select applications to determine the best mix of individuals. 

Those selected commit to interact in movement-building work to bring about more equitable decision-making on City of Long Beach appointed boards and commissions. Graduates are also expected to support the ongoing program and movement by, when possible, recruiting future participants, weighing in the selection of subsequent cohorts, shaping future curriculum, attending ongoing strategic sessions, and participating in annual celebration events. 

A small stipend is available to help cover transportation, child care, and other costs incurred by participants who are not engaging in this training as part of already compensated work or during work hours. 

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Program Calendar

  • Meet & Greet:
    • Wednesday, May 3rd (5:30pm – 7:00pm) 
  • Training Session Series:
    • Saturdays: May 13th, May 20th, and June 3rd (9:30am – 3:30pm)*
  • Graduation and Mixer:
    • Friday, June 9th (5:30pm – 7:30pm)

*Participants who are accepted into the program must commit to attending all training dates listed, with the exception of the optional Meet and Greet event.