Apply to the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute

Register for our informational webinar scheduled for September 17 at noon.

Applications are due on:

Sunday, October 20th, 11:59 PM PST


The Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) trains and supports leaders from low-income communities and communities of color to advance equitable policies as advocate commissioners. 

The program begins with an intensive six-month training that provides fellows with a framework to deepen their understanding of housing, transportation, and land use planning issues through an intersectional lens that includes race and class. Fellows will develop and hone essential commissioner skills, which include power mapping, how to apply an “inside/outside” strategy, and Robert’s Rules of Order. After commencement, program staff will continue to support alumni through the appointment process and while they are serving on a commission.

The training consists of “hubs and spokes.” The hub is an all-day training occurring once a month on a Saturday and it includes the full cohort. Spokes are weeknight trainings that involve sub-cohorts that meet monthly in specific cities. We hope to have spokes in Fremont, Oakland, San Mateo, and San Francisco. In addition, participants are required to attend monthly webinars. Please check the 2020 schedule to make sure you are able to attend all of the mandatory sessions before applying.

Why Apply?

  • Deepen your knowledge of and ability to advance equitable policies as a member of a board or commission.
  • Learn key commissioner skills.
  • Participate in a facilitated learning community of field experts, trainers, advocate commissioners, grassroots organizers, and elected officials who will share best practices, lessons learned, and key concepts.
  • Join a network of social justice advocates influencing policy decisions on local and regional commissions.

An Ideal BCLI Candidate Is:

  • Committed to serving on a commission in order to advance justice for low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Knowledgeable about or interested in shaping transportation, land use, and housing policies.
  • Knowledgeable about or interested in the public policy-making process and someone with political acumen.
  • Someone with a strong reputation and relationships with grassroots organizations, advocates, and decision-makers.
Application Checklist:
  • Resume. Please include one reference who can speak to your professional qualifications.
  • Completed online application. Please note: Your online application form cannot be saved. We strongly encourage you to write and review your work and have all of your supporting documents ready before beginning the online application. 
  • Nomination Letter (maximum 2 pages). In order to identify candidates who will be accountable to low-income communities and communities of color, we require a nomination letter from a grassroots or advocacy organization. Please ask your nominating organization to include the following information in their letter:
    • What are your organization’s campaign goals, and how do you see the applicant advancing these goals on their commission of interest?
    • How will your organization hold the applicant accountable to your campaign goals and members once they are placed on a commission or board?
    • How will your organization support the applicant’s service as a commissioner?

How Do I Apply?

Applications can be submitted online. You can upload your resume and nomination letter in the designated area on the application form. Please note that you are not able to save your application so have all of your documents ready before you begin

If you are unable to apply online, email for alternative options for applying.

Selection Process and Timeline.

Selected candidates will be interviewed in late October and early November. All applicants will be notified of their status by mid-November.