Want to advise local elected officials? Consider joining a board or commission

Help shape Charlotte on a variety of issues. Here’s what you need to know before you get involved.

The new year brings new opportunities to have your voice heard on behalf of the community. Applications are now available for Mecklenburg County residents to join city and county boards and commissions.

These volunteer roles help the mayor, city council and county commissioners make decisions that impact the arts, business, housing, transportation and more.

More than 45 vacancies — spanning 16 boards and commissions — are listed on the City of Charlotte’s website. Applicants are especially needed for eight county committees.

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, these positions allow you to weigh in on recommendations for programs and initiatives relating to critical needs like access to capital, job training and building codes.

For instance, advisers influenced decisions around the launch of initiatives such as AMP Up Charlotte, a free training program focused on growth and expansion for minority-owned businesses. Residents provided insight that helped shape the Mecklenburg County Small Business Loan Program, intended to address the lack of micro-loan availability for firms owned by women and minorities.

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Individuals with 2020 resolutions to get more involved, small business owners looking to get connected with the “who’s who” in Charlotte or the woke entrepreneur who has lamented our lack of seats at the table, your time to act is now.

Eligibility Requirements

Several vacancies have January application deadlines, so you’ll need to apply soon. To be considered, you must:

  • live in Mecklenburg county,
  • complete an online application (remains on file for one year), and
  • submit a Statement of Economic Interest disclosing affiliations with companies that do (or want to do) business with the city.

Some boards may require a criminal background check and/or a recommendation from community anchors like Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Latin-American Chamber of Commerce or Metrolina Minority Contractors Association.

How to Apply

The City of Charlotte has 35 standing boards and committees. To view vacancies and apply, visit the “Boards and Commissions” page on the city’s website.

For Mecklenburg County board and commission vacancies, visit the “Advisory Boards” page on the county website.

What to Expect

Additional points to help determine if an advisory board role is a good move:

  • Be a servant leader. Appointees serve as unpaid volunteers.
  • Be committed. Terms range from one to three years. Appointees must attend 65% of regular meetings to avoid being kicked off and 75% of regular and special meetings to be eligible for reappointment. Missing more than three consecutive meetings will get you automatically removed.
  • Be prepared for public scrutiny. Your application, Statement of Economic Interest and any correspondence regarding board, committee or commission matters are considered public record. Yes, that includes messages sent from/to your personal or business email accounts.

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