San Francisco has a ton of official boards, commissions, task forces, etc., to which members of the public can be appointed and serve. Many of the seats have special requirements, such as particular demographic characteristics or professional expertise, while others have only very broad requirements or none other than being a resident.
Here is the latest list of current vacancies on these bodies, and terms of sitting members scheduled to expire in the next few years, with the names of the bodies listed in alphabetical order:
At 143 pages, this isn't a document you'd likely want to read cover-to-cover, but I encourage you to skim through it to see whether any committee on which you might be interested in serving has any current or upcoming vacancies for which you might qualify that jump out at you.
I just left voicemail messages expressing interest in the vacancies on the Elections Commission and the Citizens General Obligation Bond Oversight Committee. While it seems unlikely the appointing powers (the Mayor and Board of Supervisors) would consider me for either position, requesting appointment can't hurt. It also sends a message that they should be appointing critics of bond measure spending, and representatives of alternative political parties like the LP, to these bodies.
If you are less well known as a dissident/troublemaker, you might have a decent shot in some cases, especially if you are seeking to serve on a lesser-known body and/or have credentials they are seeking.
Some bodies, like the Planning Commission, Appeals Board, Ethics Commission, and Police Commission, have real power and you can be sure seats on these bodies are politically determined. I think the ones I picked are likely in the middle of the pack in terms of power and being high profile; others like the SRO Monitoring Committee, Graffiti Advisory Board, or In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority might be even easier to get appointed to. Or not – I'm by no means well-informed about what most of these committees do, or how widely sought their seats are.
Libertarians applying for some of these positions, even if we don't get them, could in some cases help us learn more about what the bodies in question do and who cares about them and why.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco