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Be a county board adviser: your opportunity to tell 'em what to do with all your tax money!

Good Morning LLOTP readers,

Remember what they say: when opportunity knocks on your door, you should probably open it? As someone who rarely sees my fellow Lao Americans in the public sector forefront, this is my personal plea for you to take note of the knock and simply open the door towards addressing our shared social justice issues NOW. Hennepin County is seeking volunteers (like you and me, of course) to commit their time on citizen advisory boards. There are no minimal requirements and level of experience necessary. Too often our futures are determined by the very few who are unaware of the issues that impact us Lao Americans. Don’t let our concerns get brushed over to the sidelines again. Apply away. I am!







The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants from the community to fill positions on nine citizen advisory boards. The County Board appoints some or all of the members of each board. The following boards have vacancies:

Adult Mental Health Advisory Council: This 23-member council advises the County Board on adult mental health issues within Hennepin County and monitors, studies and comments on mental health issues at federal, state and local levels. Members serve three-year terms and meet monthly on the third Thursday of the month from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Hennepin County Library – Hosmer in Minneapolis. There are seven vacancies.

Capital Budgeting Task Force: This 11-member task force reviews the county’s capital budget and submits recommendations to the County Board for both the annual capital budget and the five-year capital improvement program. Members serve four-year terms and meet approximately 12 times a year in the afternoon for about three hours at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. There are two vacancies.

City Planning Commission (Minneapolis): This 10-member commission prepares a comprehensive plan for future development and improvement of Minneapolis, based primarily upon public utility, convenience and general welfare. Members serve two-year terms and meet twice a month on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Minneapolis City Hall. There is one vacancy.

Community Action Partnership for Suburban Hennepin Board: This 18-member board – a private nonprofit corporation – develops plans that encourage community action to reduce poverty and help low-income residents find employment and education, decent affordable housing, emergency assistance and other support services in suburban and rural Hennepin County. One-third of the members are elected public officials, one-third are elected low-income persons, and one-third are members of the private sector. Members serve one-year terms and meet at 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month in Hopkins. There are three vacancies.

County Extension Committee (Minnesota Extension Service): This nine-member committee is part of the Minnesota Extension Service – a joint partnership between Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota that determines local needs, links the Extension with other groups in the community, and ensures that underserved audiences are reached in the areas of youth, nutrition, environmental/agricultural and leadership programming. The committee oversees the budget and work of the Extension Service. Members should have some familiarity with extension activities and interests and skills in education and youth development. Members serve three-year terms and meet six to eight times a year at 8 a.m. at the Hennepin County Extension conference room at the Hennepin County Eden Prairie Service Center. There are two vacancies.

Human Resources Board: 
This seven-member board establishes rules for the county’s classified workers and provides a compensation plan for nonorganized employees, subject to approval by the County Board. The board also hears appeals within its jurisdiction. Members must reside in Hennepin County and cannot hold public office or have filed as a candidate for office; be employed or have been employed by Hennepin County for one year; or hold a position in a political party, except as a political party delegate. Members serve four-year terms and meet at least monthly on the first Wednesday of the month, averaging 14 meetings a year, at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. There isone vacancy.

Library Board: This 11-member board meets monthly to review budgets and establish management and service policies governing the county’s library system. Members serve three-year terms and meet the fourth Wednesday of the month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at various library locations. There are two vacancies.

Mental Commitment Attorney Panel Advisory Board: This five-member board oversees a panel of attorneys that provides legal representation for individuals petitioned for mental commitment. Members serve two-year terms and meet at least annually at the Hennepin County Bar Association office in downtown Minneapolis. There are two vacancies.

Workforce Investment Board: This 27-member board develops and studies programs to provide jobs for unemployed persons in suburban Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties, by increasing the involvement of the business community in employment and training. The board also analyzes needs for employment and training services, makes recommendations about program plans and basic goals, evaluates employment and training programs, recommends strategies to increase private-sector employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged residents, and appoints and oversees a local Workforce Youth Council. Members serve two to three-year terms and meet quarterly, usually the second Tuesday of the month from noon to 1:30 p.m., at various locations. There are seven vacancies in various categories.

The deadline to apply for citizen advisory board vacancies is Dec. 31, 2011. Interviews will be held in January. For more information about these vacancies or other advisory board appointments, and to apply online, visit the Hennepin County website at

What are you waiting for? Apply here:

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