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Serving: MN

Step up and make a difference in Minnesota governance

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images Coworkers discussing project on digital tablet
GET INVOLVED: Dozens of Minnesota state boards, councils and committees seek interested residents to serve on them, as well as provide input and direction.
More than 200 state boards, councils, committees need citizens to volunteer to help shape their direction and oversight.

Ever wonder about how you could have a voice at the table in state governance without having to run for election? Want to get involved in your local community and help make an impact?

You might consider checking out the Minnesota Secretary Of State Boards and Commissions website and see if any boards or commissions are of interest to you. Minnesota has more than 200 boards, councils, committees and task forces that need people to step up and serve. Each body is responsible for advising policymakers and/or regulating professionals. Members who serve range in qualifications from interested residents to specific specialties. Openings are continually announced as terms expire for current members.

As of this week, there were more than 700 open seats, according to the Secretary of State website.

There are boards giving input and reviewing practices of tax assessors, family and marriage therapy, firefighters, medical professionals and school administrators. There are advisory committees on family child-care training, juvenile justice, Medicaid services, rural health and food access. There are councils that advise the governor and legislature on African heritage and Latino affairs, disability and forest resources.

Plus, there are agriculture and natural resource-specific opportunities open right now for applicants. Those include positions with the Board of Water and Soil Resources, the state Environmental Quality Board and Rural Finance Authority.

Related: More than 700 vacancies need applicants for Minnesota state boards, councils, committees

All applications submitted to the Secretary of State are forwarded to those who make the appointments, either the governor, state department commissioners or agency directors. Most of the positions listed as open appointments are volunteer positions. Some boards and councils pay a small per diem and expenses for attending meetings and conducting authorized activities.

Interested in applying? The process is straight forward. First, complete an Open Appointments application through the Secretary of State’s website. If online doesn’t work for you, or you need an alternative application format, contact Bibi Black at [email protected]. Then on the Open Positions page on the website, scroll down to find the agency, board or council of interest and choose the correct seat type, and click button that says “apply.” The system will walk you through creating an application profile. You may also attach a letter of interest and a resume or biography.

To stay in the know about open positions, you can sign up to receive emails from the Secretary of State for its monthly Open Positions Notice. This is sent on the first Monday of every month to folks who subscribe to the service. To sign up, go to

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