Welcome to the February Boards and Commissions update! We’re wrapping up month two of the 2023 Fellowship program. Here’s what is happening:
On the Docket: Communication
Effective communication is essential to public leadership, and leads to positive experience in service of a board or commission. This month, our material was centered on creating strong communication skills and using those skills to interact with constituents via social media.
To honor little known Black history contributors in Idaho, we featured Jerome Mapp who was the first Black person to serve on Boise City Council (appointed in 1993, elected in 1994 and ran three more times). Mr. Mapp talked about how his background in architecture and sociology benefitted his leadership within public and private sectors. Most importantly, he encouraged the fellows to be patient. Government moves slowly, so patience is necessary to see visions come to fruition. Mr. Mapp made it his legacy to listen to the people and consider their perspectives when working with cities in making design and land use decisions.
This month the fellows began looking into the vast opportunity that is sitting on a public board or commission. There are 214 state boards and commissions that are appointed by the Governor and multiple local boards, commissions and committees that are appointed by local decision-making bodies (city councils or county commissions). The results of their research was shared in small groups to expose Fellows to the many opportunities available once they feel prepared to serve.
Let’s Talk Shop: February Guest Presenters
Jane White graduated from our 2021 Fellowship and currently manages the training function for Centene Pharmacy Services, a leading provider of pharmacy benefit services. Jane presented on using effective communication for beneficial outcomes. We would also like to congratulate Jane on her recent appointment to the CVIEF Board of Directors and to the Board of Inspire Connections Academy where she plans to continue her work for equality in the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Former Boise City Councilmember Jerome Mapp recently retired from the City of Caldwell after having a very interesting life doing many things throughout Idaho. After receiving a degree from Idaho State University in architecture and sociology, he went to work for the City of Pocatello in the Planning department and fell in love with the way city planning interacted with people.
You may remember Adán De La Paz; we introduced him in last month’s newsletter. He co-leads all programming to advance underrepresented domestic and international student engagement and advocacy, and assisted in the restructure of the College’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion. Adán continues to present on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide resources on these subjects.
Laura Soldati operates a public relations consulting firm specializing in strategic communications and content development for high-profile institutions and individuals in the nation, including the United Nations Development Program. Laura presented on community and board relations, such as making information transparent and the difference between personal and public messaging.
New Business: The March Agenda
In the month of March, we will begin transitioning into the technical side of public leadership, including the logistics of participating in board and commission meetings such as:
Idaho Open Meeting Law: what can and cannot be done in open meeting versus executive session under current Idaho law.
Parliamentary Procedure: the importance of keeping order during meetings; practice and preparation for public meetings.
Public Lands: the history of federal public lands as well as the difference in public versus private land.
In-Person Meetings: In March, the Fellows will have the opportunity to meet with elected and appointed officials in their local area to discuss what it’s like to serve in their respective cities.
Before We Adjourn: Question of the Month
Adan De La Paz always begins his sessions with a question for the fellows to share and build relationships with one another. Here is this month’s question:
What is a quote or a proverb that has stuck with you or changed you in some way?
“I am a miracle made up of particles.” Ian Bott, Boise
“Creatively Maladjusted” Florina Ruvio, Cadwell based on this article by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
“If you don’t talk it out, you will act it out.” Laura Vellegas Ortiz about a quote she read in a book recommended by January speaker, Jane White