Do you know your ABCs? Have you volunteered to serve yet?

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Olga Negron, “Your View by Bethlehem councilwoman: Want to help democracy? Serve on a government board.” Morning Call, August 31, 2019.

There were so many interesting things at the last City Council meeting that Gadfly hasn’t been able to deal with them all. And here we are on the verge of another meeting!

So let’s finish up (ha! or nearly finish up — Gadfly never shuts up) the thread on the interesting discussion on reappointments to the City Authorities, Boards, and Commissions — what Gadfly calls the ABCs.

Councilwomen Van Wirt and Negron were beating the drum for “new blood” especially on certain committees.

That caused Council newcomer Grace Crampsie Smith to ask the Mayor if he had a list of people waiting to serve — a waiting list.

The Mayor’s answer was that there was a list and that the City was doing pretty well, especially in comparison to Allentown, in staffing the ABCs. The Mayor periodically puts out an invitation for people to express interest in serving, and there are currently very few open slots.

If there is to be new blood, we have to seek it, we have to let people know.

Virtually immediately after the meeting, the Mayor posted such an invitation on the City web site and Facebook page:

Appointments are available for Bethlehem residents who may be interested in serving on one of our various authorities, boards, and commissions! Please review the following link for information specific to each of them: https://www.bethlehem-pa.gov/…/Authorities-Boards-and-Commi… Interested candidates are encouraged to send their letter of interest and resume to the Office of the Mayor at wkarras@bethlehem-pa.gov

As for incentive to serve, Gadfly points you to Councilwoman Negron’s article linked here and at the top of this page:

I’m here to tell you that our city needs your civic engagement.

There are many, other extremely important nonelected positions in local government that need to be filled by volunteers.

It’s important to know that not all positions require a specific expertise; most just require a dedicated person with common sense and love for our city who is willing to be the voice of their community.

The people in our city have diverse voices, and what we need is more of that diversity working in our government. That’s why I’m reaching out to challenge every single one of you to get civically engaged, to share your talents and put them to work for the betterment of our city.

A functioning democracy requires citizens who care what their government is doing and who put the time in to make it work for them.

Gadfly’s been hearing from people who watch the Council and other meetings on video and has noted several people who came once to a Council meeting to see what they were like and have continued to come.

I know I got hooked.

Think about what you’d like to do, wouldya?

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