Your Views: Volunteer for Alexandria’s Boards and Commissions

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Your Views: Volunteer for Alexandria’s Boards and Commissions
All city residents with the time and inclination should consider the rewards of service on one of the city’s boards and commissions. You’ll be helping influence budget priority and policies on multiple issues important to the community, including maintaining city parks. (Photo/Missy Schrott)
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To the editor:

Ever considered adding your voice and expertise to help set policies for the City of Alexandria? All city residents with the time and inclination should consider the rewards of service on one of the city’s boards and commissions. You’ll be helping influence budget priority and policies on multiple issues important to the community, including ensuring affordable housing, providing child welfare and mental health services, maintaining city parks and helping ensure economic opportunities for all city residents.

I’ve served for two years on the Social Services Advisory Board and have found it to be a rewarding experience. Our board gets a fascinating look “behind the scenes” to meet and learn from the individuals running the health department, the housing department, including rental assistance and eviction assistance, and the city’s social service programs like foster care and family resources. Our board is involved in budget development and advocates before City Council. Right now, some members of the SSAB are working on a bold new “guaranteed income” project that will provide randomly selected residents with monthly cash stipends under a federally funded pilot program. The ultimate goal is to use the data generated to determine how monthly cash disbursements, with no strings attached, impact the financial stability and well-being of participants. As a member of the SSAB, I feel honored to be a part of bold approaches to address economic and racial equity like this one.

Come join us! You’d be expected to attend board meetings monthly, usually from September to June, and participate in decision-making and policy setting. Here is the link to apply https:// www.alexandriava.gov/boards- and-commissions/boards-and- commissions-vacancies

-Stephanie Kanwit, Alexandria

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