Sunday, February 19, 2017


The deadline is March 3rd at 4:00 pm. At least, that's when it is in Oakland Mills. There are probably other deadlines in other villages. You can learn more here.

What deadline? Why, the deadline to turn in your paperwork to run for your Columbia Village Board or as your village's CA Representative, of course. At this time of year, some people scope out this year's Spring fashions, some peruse seed catalogues, and some contemplate stepping up to serve the community.

Will you be one of them?

Serving on a village board or as a CA Rep will not make you famous. It is not a reliable springboard to higher office, either. But you will learn more about your village, about how Columbia works, and, most especially, what we all need to do to keep Columbia going. The New American City wasn't meant to run like an automated machine. It needs people to be interested, involved, and active. If we aren't, the things that make Columbia unique will become irrelevant.

Something you will have if you serve in village leadership is influence. The village board sets the tone for how each individual village association interacts within its community. Here in Oakland Mills we've seen a board that thinks it's within its purview to advocate for replacing affordable housing with a multimillion dollar sports complex, or slating school athletic fields for commercial redevelopment. Thankfully, neither one of these misbegotten goals has come to pass, but you can see how the tone is set by those who are controlling the conversation.

In Columbia, we need more people of different ages and backgrounds who want to join in the conversation. If you have been involved in your children's PTA, or at church/synagogue, or other community group, then I strongly encourage you to serve a term on behalf of your village. I don't know the time commitment in every village, but in Oakland Mills it's two evenings per month. It's doable.

I once served on the Oakland Mills Village Board and I'm really glad that I did. I also ran for Oakland Mills CA Representative, unsuccessfully. Would I try that again? Well...

Politics as a competitive sport is not my thing. But it may be just the challenge you are looking for. And running for Village Board is probably the least competitive race you will ever attempt.

You are needed. Columbia was meant to be about all kinds of people. Step up.

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