While it’s only October, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming Concordia Neighborhood Association (CNA) board election, being held at our annual meeting on Nov. 3. I know that a lot of you consider volunteering for the CNA board or other community organizations. I understand this sentiment because I felt the same way for years.
With everything going on in Portland these days, many Portlanders complain that the city government is ineffectual and, like most of us, are pining for positive change.
We are all part of this city, and neighborhood associations are the grassroots level of city government. The CNA board represents 10,000+ Portlanders and, when we endorse issues or write letters, we are usually heard.
For example, this month we secured a meeting with the current owners of the Concordia University property, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, to lobby on behalf of the neighborhood. This resulted in some reassuring updates about the sale.
All of the members of our board volunteer their time because they want to be part of their community. Many of them have been on the board for years, and this continuity is really important in maintaining a nonprofit, all-volunteer board. That said, it’s great to get new volunteers who bring fresh energy and thinking.
At the moment, we are fully staffed. However, this could change in November if some current board members whose terms end in December decide not to run for re-election, and we don’t have new volunteers from the neighborhood to fill their board seats.
Just like any election, when a current board position is up for election/re-election, any qualified person can run for that seat regardless of whether the current board member is running for re-election.
So, if you’re interested in serving on the board, don’t be dissuaded because the position is currently filled. Put your hat in the ring, and may the best candidate win! That’s democracy.
In odd-numbered years like 2021, odd-numbered board seats are up for election. CNA board members serve two-year terms. The chair position, currently held by me, is only a one-year position so is up for election every year. So, by my count, that’s six board seats and one chair up for grabs.
Next month, I’ll provide an election primer. Meanwhile you can reach out directly to me with questions and/or check out our CNA bylaws to learn more: ConcordiaPDX.org/about-cna/bylaws.
Native Portlander Peter Keller has lived in Concordia since 1997. He runs a small marketing agency with partner Max, out of their home studio. He loves exploring outdoors with and without his dogs.