L.A.'s social justice epicenter since 1976

Train to be a Commissioner

The People's Bridges to Government

Commissions Training Program

Applications due via email by
November 16, 2018 to

Throughout Los Angeles County, including within the City of Los Angeles, thousands of appointed members on hundreds of boards and commissions oversee key city and county agencies, advising elected decision makers on core policies and programs that impact the quality of life for Los Angeles area residents.

These agencies have a major impact throughout the city and county, but for many community members, gaining representation on these boards—and influence over the decisions they make—is a challenge. Elected officials report that they lack qualified candidates who possess experience as community leaders, and who have the time, technical expertise and interest to serve on commissions. In addition, residents throughout the L.A. metro area face barriers to engagement with the government representatives who make decisions that directly affect low-income communities, immigrant communities and communities of color.

With a 42-year track record of investing in and training L.A.'s diverse community leadership, Liberty Hill Foundation is launching its fifth Commissions Training Program for Emerging Leaders, setting out to address these challenges and build power for communities throughout Los Angeles. This program is run within Liberty Hill's Wally Marks Leadership Institute, which has been training grassroots activists and organizations for nearly a decade.

Space is limited. The cohort will consist of 12 to 15 individuals. Those selected for participation will receive a small stipend to cover transportation, childcare and other costs.

To apply, download the application (DOCX). Applications are due November 16, 2018.

Program Goals

Using Liberty Hill's extensive networks, the Commissions Training Program for Emerging Leaders will achieve several long-term goals:

  1. Make appointed decision makers throughout the County of Los Angeles representative of, and accountable to, low-income communities and communities of color.
  2. Help emerging community leaders understand the potential of local boards and commissions to influence social justice in their communities, and facilitate opportunities for them to lead their communities and organizations in influencing decision making on city and county boards and commissions.
  3. Teach the technical knowledge and political strategies needed to implement and support equitable local policymaking, and empower emerging community leaders to hold seats on city, county and regional commissions.

Appointees trained by the Commissions Training Program for Emerging Leaders will not only be prepared to meet their day-to-day responsibilities as commissioners, but also to bring fresh thinking and innovative solutions to agency deliberations and decision making, helping to renew confidence in government.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact Cheyda Arhamsadr at

If you are interested in the 2019 cohort, please review the application materials above. To receive general information about other Commissions programs in the future, please fill out the form below to join our mailing list.