Establish an annual celebration of a city’s volunteer leaders and recruit residents to fill other service opportunities
This model “Call to Service” provides municipalities with different options for celebrating the town’s volunteer leaders, and provides for an annual invitation from the mayor to the general public to apply for leadership service opportunities in their town. A City “Call to Service” allows the local government to reach out to its community in a way that fosters cooperation and civil service. The invitation to apply for leadership advances the municipality’s interest in transparency, while engaging the public in a way that encourages leadership. It is also a great way to establish a connection with new residents. A “Call to Service” Summit is a simple, effective way to build or maintain a healthy democracy.
Use these materials to advance this solution in your city:
Municipal Call to Service Guide
Launching a “Call to Service” in your town is a great way to draw on your community’s deep pool of leadership potential, by giving people with only a few hours a week or less, an opportunity to participate in the leadership of their own town. It is a way to recruit residents for important opportunities to serve on our town’s boards and commissions by educating them about the best ways to access these entry level volunteer leadership positions under the Citizen Service Act (P.L. 2009, c.141). Citizens can also learn how to make constructive proposals to the Council and to town boards & commissions.
A Call to Service for our town would include:
1. The adoption of a resolution to have a (Town) Call to Service Summit, which includes two components:
a. Extends an invitation from the Mayor and Governing Body to residents (through existing newsletters, event calendars, the municipal website, cable access channels, the newspaper, or by mail) to come and meet the mayor and members of the governing body and learn about the leadership service opportunities on boards, task forces and commissions in our town
b. At the Summit, residents will meet the mayor & council and learn how to constructively participate in the leadership of our community. Materials for learning about leadership opportunities is available on The Citizens Campaign website, www.thecitizenscampaign.org.
c. A press conference announcing the (Town) Call to Service Summit details, and stressing the point that the governing body is calling its residents to serve our community.
d. Honor one or two exemplary volunteers at the beginning of the Summit.
e. Have tables with representatives from boards and commissions present to provide information to attendees on the achievements & goals of the board, the roles of board members, etc.
MODEL RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A “(TOWN) CALL TO SERVICE SUMMIT”
WHEREAS, the opportunities for citizen leadership have never been greater; and
WHEREAS, national studies have shown that voluntary community and public service have been in a steady decline; and
WHEREAS, polling data indicates that a significant portion of New Jersey citizens would like to be active in public service in their communities, but have limited time and are not in a position to run for public office; and
WHEREAS, appointments to municipal boards and commissions and bringing constructive proposals to the governing body, school board and other government bodies offer the easiest opportunities for regular citizens with limited time to be able to contribute their leadership; and
WHEREAS, (Municipality) is determined to be an example to other communities across New Jersey in recruiting and educating its residents about citizen leadership and non-elected public service opportunities;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE (MUNICIPALITY), (COUNTY) COUNTY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, hereby establishes a (Municipality) Call to Service Summit; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the residents of (Municipality) shall be invited to the town Summit on citizen leadership opportunities which shall include, but not be limited to, appointed government board and commission posts and membership in emergency response agencies. The Mayor and one or more members of the Council shall welcome residents to service at this Summit; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Summit shall also include an educational portion on the function and importance of municipal boards and commissions, as well as the process by which citizens may apply to serve.
Adopted this ___ day of _________,