Have you been looking for a way to contribute, but don’t have the capacity for a long-term volunteer project? Do you like to stay informed about local government and their decision-making processes? The Observer Corps may be the right fit for you.
In 2007, the League of Women Voters published "Observing Your Government in Action: Protecting Your Right to Know." In the preface to this guide, Mary Wilson writes:
The League has been a champion of government transparency since our founding in 1920. It is one of our core principles and a vital part of our mission. Our efforts in this area reinforce our reputation of fairness, nonpartisanship and trust. League members attend governmental meetings to learn what their government is doing and to monitor whether those meetings are conducted in an open and transparent way. Experience has shown the importance of the League being present to watch—and to take action when necessary.
In August of 2022 the LWVBWC board voted to pursue a new focus area, the housing crisis, utilizing all its tools of research and education in search of a way that the League might contribute to solutions. Check out the "Housing" page for more information. In order to learn more about our local government actions and plans with regard to housing in our community, we are launching the Observer Corps with a particular focus on public meetings that address housing.
If you visit the “Volunteering Opportunities” page, you will be able to sign up to observe and report on one or more public meetings of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Housing Authorities Board, City of Bellingham Planning Commission and Housing Advisory Committee of Whatcom County. Once you’ve signed up to attend a specific meeting, all you need to do is attend, take notes and fill out a brief report! These reports will be used to create blog posts informing the League membership of goings on in our local government.
Thank you for volunteering! If you’d like to see the Observer Corps grow to interest areas outside housing, please let us know.